TfL to axe conductors

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Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that the six bus routes in the Capital which currently operate with conductors will operate without them from September.

The six routes (9, 10, 11, 24, 38 and 390) currently operate with conductors on New Routemaster buses, while a further 19 routes that use New Routemasters already do so without conductors.

TfL has found that having conductors on board makes a modest difference to customer satisfaction (increasing scores from 86.7 to 88.4). TfL claims not having conductors will save around £10m a year, which will be reinvested in modernising the transport network.

TfL said the decision to remove conductors is ‘not a reflection on the excellent job they have done’ and it said it is working with the bus operating companies that employ the conductors to provide support and information on job opportunities elsewhere in London’s transport industry.

Without a conductor on board, New Routemaster buses operate with the rear platform closed when the bus is moving, with passengers able to quickly board and alight using all three sets of doors and two staircases at bus stops.

Leon Daniels, TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, said: “The conductors on these routes have done a great job, but the New Routemaster routes which don’t have conductors also operate very effectively and we can no longer justify the £10m of extra costs that could otherwise be invested in modernising the transport network.

“We are now working with the bus companies to find conductors other opportunities within the transport industry so they can continue to play a part in keeping London moving.”

A small number of Heritage Routemaster buses on route 15 will continue to operate with conductors.