Council Oppose TfL Plans To Terminate 27 Bus Route To Chiswick
They had paid to have the route extended to Chiswick Business Park
Hounslow Council is opposing a plan by Transport for London (TfL) to end the number 27 bus service to the area.
The 27 bus currently terminates at the Chiswick Business Park. The extension of the route to the office development was only introduced four years ago after a lengthy campaign.
Hounslow Council paid over £537,000 to London Buses over three years to seed the improvement to the service, which required an additional bus added to the London United fleet.
The money was paid through section 106 funds (developer contributions) from Chiswick Business Park. The idea was to serve the thousands of workers who commute to the Park and relieve pressure on the tube station at Gunnersbury.
The Council's Head of Transport, Mark Frost, told the Chiswick Area Forum (CAF) meeting this week (Tuesday, 4 September), that the Council had objected to the proposal as they had paid monies fromm S106 to have the route extended, "which could have been used for something else."
However TfL is now proposing stopping the service at Hammersmith. TfL says its data shows that portion of the 27 route, between Hammersmith and Chiswick, is the least used part of the route, particularly between Turnham Green and the Business Park.
Route 27 runs between Chiswick Business Park and Chalk Farm, every 7 to 8 minutes Monday to Saturday daily and every 12 minutes during Sundays shopping hours and late evenings.
A TfL spokesman has previously told us that the 27 provided eight buses per hour on the route, and if it was removed there would still be over 22 buses per hour on the route from Hammersmith to Chiswick High Road. The Business Park is also served by routes 237, 267 and H91 at Gunnersbury Station.
"Our review of bus services serving inner west London also revealed a number of routes that were running with a lot of spare capacity (buses that are not full). We are therefore proposing the following changes to route 27:
"-make route 27 more reliable by terminating it at Hammersmith Grove, which will remove the least-used section of the route (between Hammersmith and Chiswick Business Park)
"-create a short new local link from King Street
to Glenthorne Road and Hammersmith Grove
A public consultation on the proposal to change bus routes, which would see the service cut by a quarter, was held recently.
Critics of the plan claim that the early termination of the route being proposed is due to TfL's desire to save money. A Low Emission Bus Zone is due to be implemented on Chiswick High Road in 2020 which would mean that only the latest generation of less-polluting buses would be allowed to serve the area. It is being alleged that the change would mean that TfL would not need to upgrade the buses on route 27 if they were not serving the clean air zone.
When we asked TfL about this their spokesman said this was not the reason behind the proposed changes. He said any buses on any changed route would meet the new criteria set down for low emissions.
TfL says, "Our analysis of the demand for bus services at Turnham Green (on Chiswick High Road) shows that a maximum of around 16 buses per hour are required. We currently provide 30 buses per hour. Removing route 27 (which accounts for eight buses per hour) would take the total number of buses provided per hour down to 22, more than enough to serve the demand along this corridor
"People who currently use route 27 to travel between Hammersmith and Chiswick Business Park would still be able to make that journey on one of the following routes: 237, 267, 391, H91."
Although route 237 serves the Hammersmith area it does not follow the same route between Hammersmith and Chiswick as the 27 does.
A poster campaign was mounted in Chiswick recently saying that the bus route changes were a cutback too far by the Mayor.
Changes are also proposed to the 94 bus service to terminate it at Marble Arch.
Matt Coulson, CEO Chiswick Park Enjoy-Work said, ‘Easy access to the park by public transport is vital. The latest proposal from TfL to remove the section of the bus 27 route between Hammersmith and our business park will affect some of our guests. This is not a decision we support, however, we understand that it is not sustainable for a London bus line to be run at low capacity.
"With the delivery of the new footbridge due to open in December this year, we will provide a direct access to Chiswick Park tube station and we are hoping that this will provide an alternative to the bus 27 commuters.’
September 6, 2018