Quarterly review published on London’s transport

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Performance has improved as operators make greater use of I-Bus, according to London TraveWatch
Performance has improved as operators make greater use of I-Bus, according to London TraveWatch

London TravelWatch (LTW) has published its quarterly report on the performance of Transport for London (TfL) modes of transport from July to September 2011.

The report notes that London Buses is performing to a good or satisfactory level (equal to or better than target), but there are concerns about the performance of the TfL Road Network (TLRN).

The organisation notes TfL has been working to reduce the amount of planned and unplanned severe delays on the TLRN and to increase the throughput at traffic signals. TfL is using the permitting system to keep the number of roadworks below target, which seems to be paying dividends. However, despite this and lower traffic volumes, there does not seem to be a sustained improvement in TfL’s new measure of Journey Time Reliability (JTR). JTR, however, was improved upon for this quarter compared to the same quarter last year.

The condition of roads has deteriorated. TfL has missed its target for highway condition and will not be able to return the condition of the TLRN to pre- 2009/10 levels for some years.

London TravelWatch has identified London Buses’ good performance in this quarter. For the overall network, the two most significant measures of performance which reflects passengers’ experience are Excess Waiting Time (EWT) and the percentage of scheduled kilometres operated. Between them they show if the planned frequency of bus services are being delivered. EWT, the measure which indicates the additional minutes wait time of passengers beyond the scheduled value on high frequency bus routes, was 0.9 minutes, which is a very good performance, and better than the TfL’s target – as is the percentage of kilometres operated.

The high performance will, LTW claim, in part, be due to the reduction in traffic volumes, but also the better control operators have, as more of them make effective use of the I-Bus system.

Customer satisfaction was higher than the target. The bus station score, which was poor last quarter and is generally lower than other scores, improved.

Of London’s 375 high frequency bus routes in Quarter 2 2011/12, only 31 were below the contracted minimum standard, and most of those were only marginally so; while 21 operated at the contracted standard, and 323 performed better than the contracted standard.

Poor performance on the bus network is often as a result of prolonged roadworks which are usually outside of the control of TfL. Where this occurs, TfL is actively trying to reduce the impact.