On Friday 12 April, TfL published the results of their Central London bus consultation; despite the name, this consultation mainly focused on outer London bus routes and did not generally cover the routes of most interest to our area - especially not the routes going down Oxford Street. You can read the output of the consultation at this link:
The HPEA transport committee has been working with PRACT (Paddington Residents' Active Concerns on Transport) on this issue, and through PRACT with WCC and TfL. Here is some commentary on the consultation - notably on what wasn't included - with grateful thanks to John Walton (Hon Secretary of PRACT) for his insights:
This consultation did not include bus routes in Oxford Street. It appears that the only changes directly affecting PRACT are to routes 46 (increased frequency) and 205.
No mention is made at this point of routes 7, 94, 98, 139, 274 and 390 which are potentially affected by the Oxford Street proposals, nor of route 27 (already curtailed at Hammersmith, without any other changes).
Various individual members of HPEA and indeed SEBRA are concerned about curtailing the 94 bus just east of Marble Arch, and that remains a possibility, subject to the suggested limit of four routes in Oxford Street - TfL’s earlier proposal being only routes 7, 98, 139 and 390. A review of route 94 was not part of this consultation and the proposal to curtail it at Marble Arch appears to stand, by default, for the time being.
The proposal that the 205 bus should skip the diversion to Marylebone Station, and instead make a stop in Marylebone Road like the 27, is to be implemented in June.
The frequency of route 46 is to be increased, again in June.
The earlier proposal to reroute the 332 bus (north to Brent Cross) south of Kilburn, away from Maida Vale and instead via Warwick Avenue and roads west of Maida Vale, appears to to be on ice.
Comments and feedback made by PRACT to WCC
1. WCC have asked TfL about the proposed bus changes impacting Oxford Street in relation to the opening of Crossrail. WCC await the expected announcements on Crossrail opening dates later this month and have asked TfL to ensure the issues related to Oxford Street bus changes are addressed.
2. Amongst the buses now calling at Paddington (routes 7, 23, 27, 36, 46, 205 and 332) only the 7 would be duplicated by Crossrail, and then only between Paddington and Bond Street.
3. All but the 46 and possibly the 332 (see point 7 below) use Praed Street. Of the other five routes, the 27 and 205 are apparently confirmed as heading to or from Marylebone Road, and three — the 7, 23 and 36 run to or from Marble Arch and beyond.
4. Those living west of Paddington who could previously take one of routes 7 and 23 to Oxford Street and beyond, have already lost the 23, but — for destinations in Oxford Street only — can transfer from the 23 to the 7. To lose the 7 as well (not that this is currently proposed) could require a double change for Oxford Street, or paying a new fare to transfer to Crossrail.
5. Travelling by bus to the stop in mid-Regent Street will require multiple changes. To Piccadilly Circus and beyond, a single change to route 6 would only remain possible (for those boarding west of Queensway) if route 7 continues at least as far as its first stop in Edgware Road. We should remain diligent regarding any proposed changes to bus route 7.
6. Crossrail is irrelevant to users of buses 94 and 148 along Bayswater Road.
7. In summary, the eventual opening of Crossrail does not provide, of itself, any justification for reducing the number of bus routes in Praed Street. The possible change to route 332 would reduce by one the number of buses going in the critical easterly direction, but that depends on other changes and as mentioned previously, is currently on ice.
We are aware that TfL faces significant financial pressures which include the costs of current bus provisions. The HPEA, working with PRACT, will continue to focus campaigning pressure on the key routes which our members depend on.
News and updates
Reminder of pub evening Tuesday 16 April at 6.15pm
Don't forget our pub evening which will be held at the Victoria pub on Strathearn Place, from 6.15pm on Tuesday 16 April. We look forward to hearing about the Frontline Club on Norfolk Place and understanding more about its work in the field of international journalism.
Cyber crime in Westminster - crimes reported in 2018, and how to protect yourself
The police have updated us on the types of cyber crime reported in 2018 and the amounts involved. These are significant (although include companies as well as individuals). Please read the report and also the advice on steps you can take to protect yourself. Don't hesitate to ask for help from trusted neighbours and friends - get a second opinion if you are in any doubt.
Reminder of "IT Party" - final date is Friday 26 April
Age UK Westminster have been running some IT parties locally, aimed at senior citizens wanting to improve their digital skills. Bring along your laptop, I-pad, mobile phone and receive advice and guidance
There is one remaining event on Friday 26 April at Marylebone Library on New Cavendish Street, 1.30-3.30pm. You should contact Steve Spavin to reserve your place, by phone on 0203 0045610 or mobile 07969 302517, or by email at email@example.com
Annual Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice - 4-6 May
Don't forget the Canalway Cavalcade which will be held over the early May Bank Holiday weekend. As always there will be the spectacular sight of many boats all crammed into the Little Venice area, decorated to the nines. There's also stalls, food, music, entertainment, boat handling competitions - and parades of the boats including the evening procession of illuminated boats on Sunday. All highly recommended! Read the full programme and timings with the brochure at this link.