500 more buses for London

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Investment in vehicles, bus priority measures and training to help meet rising demand for bus use

Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Transport for London (TfL) have set out plans for a major new investment in bus services to help meet the rising demand of the city’s rapidly growing population.

Funding for over 500 extra buses is planned over the course of the business plan, which will create additional capacity for an extra 2.9m customer journeys each week.

Working with London’s boroughs, an additional £200m will be invested in bus priority schemes designed to improve the reliability of the bus network, which delivers 2.4bn passenger journeys every year. New funding will also support customer-focused bus driver training to improve customer service. The plans are part of TfL’s draft Business Plan which sets out what will be delivered to support the Mayor’s Transport Strategy until 2020/21, to be considered at the TfL Board on December 10.

The extra buses will be used to increase the frequency of bus services and improve transport connections to key growth areas such as Barking Riverside and Elephant and Castle, providing high quality bus routes between new residential areas and local town centres.

Boris Johnson said: “London buses carry more than 2.4bn passengers a year – twice as many as the Tube. They are the backbone and workhorses of our transport network, playing an undeniably important role in London’s economy. This major new investment in our buses services will help meet the demand of the city’s rapidly growing population. It will also support regeneration of key growth areas – ensuring Londoners have a regular and reliable bus network to get them to jobs, schools and hospitals in every part of the capital.”

The Mayor and TfL will also be investing £25m over seven years in customer service training for bus company staff. This will include a review of the BTEC qualification – the mandatory training programme for new bus drivers – to enable TfL to improve the customer care training of around 25,000 staff including new and existing drivers, supervisors and controllers. Drivers will learn how to communicate better with customers and respond more quickly to their needs.