The Mayor of London has been told not to ignore the plight of long-suffering bus passengers.
The warning comes from the London Assembly Transport Committee after Boris Johnson announced the Year of the Bus celebrations earlier this week.
The transport committee fears the views of 1,000 passengers, taken last year in its Bus Services in London report, may be lost amidst a fanfare of photo opportunities and back-slapping.
Passengers who participated in the 2013 report told the committee they wanted overcrowding addressed, better engagement, more transparency and consultation, fairer fares and environmentally friendly vehicles.
Chair of the Transport Committee, Valerie Shawcross AM said; “We welcome the launch of the Year of the Bus but once the hype and photo opportunities are over – we hope it will serve as a reminder to address the Committee's findings about rising demand and overcrowding.”
With the number of bus users in the capital continuing to rise, recommendations included in the report ask Mr Johnson and Transport for London (TfL) to:
* Publish a long-term strategy for the development of the bus network to address rising demand
* Publish a schedule for the roll-out of more environmentally friendly bus vehicles including electric buses
* Devise a new approach to future bus service consultations, including more targeted interaction with passengers and allow local councils to have more say on bus services.
Ms Shawcross continued: “London has a brilliant bus service with 6.5 million journeys made every day, more than twice the number of tube journeys. But, with a projected 167 million more journeys by 2022, we need to ensure the service is prioritised and modernised to keep pace with the growing demand.”
The Year of the Bus will see TfL and the London Transport Museum will collaborate on a programme of events and activities celebrating the past, present and future of the London bus.