TfL plans to cut weekend night bus extras from September

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Analysis shows it will no longer be necessary to run as many extra buses at weekends on 17 out of 117 existing night bus routes

Transport for London (TfL) has begun consulting on proposed changes to the night bus network ahead of the introduction of the Night Tube, which will transform night-time journeys in London from this September.

The proposals follow a comprehensive review of TfL’s night bus services. This looked at demand for new links on weekend-nights from suburban stations for passengers travelling to and from central London on the new Night Tube.

From September 12, the start of the Night Tube service, TfL is proposing to continue all night bus services and introduce 20 new services and one extended service, to help customers travel to and from Night Tube stations. 17 of the new services would run on Friday and Saturday nights, with three running seven nights a week.

These would help passengers start or finish their Night Tube journeys, as well as providing new travel opportunities to and from suburban local centres. All of these new services would follow the same route and run between the same points as the day service. These proposed new routes will contribute to the continuing year-on-year increase in the number of night buses on the road at weekends, TfL said. This includes improvements to services on corridors not affected by Night Tube, which have already taken or will take place during the year.

The review has also identified opportunities to increase the efficiency of the night bus network. On some current night bus services TfL runs extra buses on Friday and Saturday nights to meet increased weekend demand. Based on detailed analysis of Oyster card and passenger survey data, it is anticipated that some passengers will choose to use the Night Tube instead once this becomes available in September.

As a result, TfL is proposing that it would no longer be necessary to run as many extra buses at weekends on 17 out of 117 existing night bus routes. These 17 services would continue to operate at their standard weekday frequency or more, providing a local, fully accessible service to all stops along the route.

Mike Weston, TfL’s Director of Buses, said: “London’s night buses carry more than 42m passengers every year and demand has tripled since 1999, reflecting London’s development as an increasingly 24-hour city.

“The introduction of the Night Tube will see journey times for passengers cut by an average of 20 minutes, with some reduced by more than an hour. At the same time, night buses will continue to run frequently across London complementing Night Tube services, giving passengers more choice. Our proposals include the introduction of up to 20 brand new suburban night bus services that will expand the transport network in outer London.”

The public consultation, which runs from today until July 1, is available online at: consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/night-bus-review.