Image above: 533 bus
Service to be reinstated mid-July at reduced frequency
Local residents and councillors have won their battle to reinstate stops for the 533 bus route in Chiswick, after a year-long campaign.
Transport for London amended the route to remove all the stops in the Chiswick area in July 2021, saying that the bus needed to operate as an express service to Mortlake Cemetery. TfL said this was to provide more capacity for passengers travelling to and from the south side of the River Thames, following the closure of Hammersmith Bridge.
Many local bus users argued transport provision was already inadequate and received support from local politicians including Cllr John Todd and London Assembly Member Nick Rogers. Local resident Adrian Haberberg organised a petition calling for the cut to be reversed, which was signed by over 300 residents.
Mr Haberberg told The Chiswick Calendar in June last year that the route was a “god send” for him. He is in his late 60s and lives beside the A316.
READ ALSO: Petition to keep 533 bus route in Chiswick
The service was introduced following the closure of Hammersmith Bridge to provide alternative access for people travelling between Hammersmith and Barnes along the A316.
All stops to Chiswick will now be reinstalled and bus will resume stopping in Chiswick on Saturday 16 July, though not to its original timetable. The frequency of the service will reduced to every 17 minutes from every 15 minutes.
Images above: Conservative Cllrs Jack Emsley (left) and John Todd (right), Conservative Assembly Member Nicholas Rogers
Local Conservatives welcome decision
South West London Assembly Member Nicholas Rogers welcomed the decision by TfL to reinstate the Chiswick stops:
“This U-Turn by the Mayor of London is incredibly welcome news for residents in Chiswick who deserve a public transport network that works for them. If we are going to encourage residents to use their cars less frequently in London, it is vital that there are alternative, sustainable modes of transport. I’m delighted that TfL has listened to residents and reinstated this important public transport link.”
Jack Emsley, Conservative Councillor for Chiswick Homefields said:
“This is great news for residents in Chiswick Homefields who have been fighting against the Mayor’s decision to cut the 533 service ever since it was announced last year. Better public transport provisions will play a major part in improving our local air quality, giving residents a sustainable alternative to car use.
“I’d like to pay a big tribute to Nick Rogers for his work in raising this at the London Assembly and lobbying TfL to reverse its decision on behalf of our community.”
“We hope that by reinstating all of the stops between Chiswick and Mortlake Cemetery on route 533, more people will be encouraged to use the service, and complete their journeys on foot or by cycle.”
Image above: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan
Lack of “proper” funding for TfL could see cuts to further bus routes
In 2021, 41 bus routes were cut across the capital by TfL. In 2021, Geoff Hobbs, Director of Public Transport Service Planning at TfL, said:
“Buses play a crucial role in connecting the city, and we keep our bus network under regular review to ensure we best meet evolving customer demands and deliver value for money.”
TfL is in an ongoing funding struggle with Sadiq Khan wrestling with the Department for Transport for a long-term funding arrangement.
The Mayor said an 18 per cent reduction in bus services, proposed as part of a managed decline scenario if TfL doesn’t get a “proper” funding deal, would mean 100 bus routes being cut or 200 bus routes having less frequent services.
The Mayor said:
“TfL has been forced into these bus changes because the government won’t provide a fair funding deal. The truth is there could be even worse to come. Buses could be cut by almost 20 per cent, and Tube services by 10 per cent [without a deal]…The government needs to stop playing politics with TfL.”
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