MEQ 37521 – W9 hail and ride bus service [SEC=OFFICIAL]

Classification: OFFICIAL

Dear Cllr Ioannou

Thank you for your email.

The department typically supports the upgrading of hail and ride sections of bus route to fixed stop, feeling this offers better boarding and alighting accessibility, especially to less able passengers. It can also offer passengers greater confidence in where to wait for bus services, and regulate how frequently individual buses are asked to stop for boarding and alighting events along their route, improving overall service reliability. Typically we are reliant on TfL identifying sections of route where they would like to place new stops, and also on TfL finding funding for the work to be advanced. But where opportunities present themselves, we tend to support them and the addition of 11 new fixed stops on the W4 route on Tottenhall Road/ Wolves Lane is one recent example. Another is the addition of numerous fixed stops along much of the new 456 bus service introduced in March 2021.

Proposals to place fixed stops on The Bourne were looked at previously, back in 2016, but only to a preliminary stage. TfL’s message below is correct; consultation by this department with relevant fronting homes and with elected representatives at the time did flag up certain reservations within the community. At that stage it was only those households deemed to be directly affected by the placement of any new infrastructure that were notified of the proposals, not the wider community or the full catchment of potential users. Other project work has taken priority in the intervening period.

However, I can confirm that a meeting today with contacts from TfL has concluded with the aspiration that we revisit these proposals; officers believing them to have clear merit and judging that viable positions are likely to be found. The same recent reports that bus drivers are finding it problematic to stop along the section between Southgate Station and Fox Lane is what has prompted the meeting. Progress will be subject to TfL identifying funding but it is certainly the hope of both organisations that we can look again at this proposal in the near future.

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