14 November 2009

Val Shawcross joins us in Peckham Rye to talk buses

We braved the rain and wind earlier today to talk to people on St Aidan's Road, Marcus Garvey Mews and Dunstan's Road about local bus services.

We know that in Peckham Rye ward lots of people, including ourselves, are reliant on bus services. That’s why we’re particularly worried by the Mayor’s recent proposals to cut bus services and funding.

We were delighted that our London Assembly Member, Val Shawcross, who is also deputy chair of the Assembly’s Transport Committee and Labour Spokesperson for Transport was able to join us. You can read Val's response to the Mayor's proposals here.

Generally, people are pretty happy with bus services, particularly the 63 and 363. However, many shared our concerns that less buses could have a big impact. I don't have a car so comments about making sure that you give yourself an extra 10 or 15 minutes to get somewhere on the bus ring true. Often you get lucky and a bus turns up straight away, but sometimes you don't, meaning reduced frequency could have a big impact.

Most people think that they pay a fair price for the current service they receive. However many were annoyed about the fare increases that Boris has announced. In January, bus fares will rise by around 20%. Pay-as-you-go journeys will go up from £1 to £1.20 and 7-day passes will go up from £13.80 to £16.60. Tube fares will go up too but by around 4% and most travelcards will be frozen. For people on St Aidan's Road, Marcus Garvey Mews and Dunstan's Road, who don't have a tube or train on their doorstep, it seems that as bus users they are way down Boris' list of priorities. To be honest I share their frustration. I sit on an overcrowded 343 everyday to get to and from work. It's a bit of a kick in the teeth to face such a big rise in just a few weeks time.

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