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Every week we receive dozens of emails from residents on a large variety of subjects. This week we would like to share with you one we received a few weeks ago. The residents concerns are extremely valid and we thought it would be beneficial to share with you Transport For London’s (TfL) reply.  

My partner and I walk dozens of miles every week around Chislehurst. During these walks we notice a large number of single and double deck buses thundering along our small roads, often speeding adding to road damage, polluting and a danger to pedestrians on narrow pavements. Sometimes there will be only 2 or 3 passengers aboard, why is this? We have also noticed outside school hours there are virtually no one on these buses. We also thought TfL is trying to reduce emissions?

TfL reply: 

Firstly, I want to assure you that we work closely and continuously with bus operators to ensure that the number of buses operating at match the demand of the communities it serves. Every route is reviewed periodically to assess route efficiency, capacity, demand and frequency to offer the best overall service possible. As a consequence, that capacity and demand factor allows us to identify the type of bus suitable for each route.

With many routes in London operating in multiple boroughs and commuting between town centres we have to match the overall demand of the service across the route. This means invariably that along some stretches of the route the capacity will be less utilised than on others.

In relation to the type of bus – and other than in exceptional circumstances we will always assign consistent types to each route (either single or double decker). This is usually down to reliability in the first instance but also being able to offer a consistent service to our customers.

Emissions: I can confirm that all buses operating in Bromley (and across London) meet the Euro 6 low emission standard and we are working with operators to move to a fleet of zero-emission buses which are either electric or hydrogen ‘fuel’.

Safety: Safety is our highest priority and we remain committed to our target of ensuring that nobody is killed or seriously injured on our roads by 2040. We take speeding and incidents of dangerous driving seriously and would invite your constituent to get in touch with our customer services team to report any such incident on 0343 222 1234.

In the future, all buses will have Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) technology which will prohibit buses from exceeding the speed of the local road. This technology is currently being retrofitted to the current fleet with all new buses installed with the technology as standard.

Kind Regards

Transport For London


Cllr Mike Jack

Cllr Mark Smith

Cllr Alison Stammers