But The Craze Is Spreading!
And the well known British West Hartlepool want to join in with the game.
To help our loyal reader, fbb has expurgated the introduction to the Bus Review documentation.
TfL’s reliance on customer fares for the majority of its income means the effect of the pandemic on our finances has been devastating, requiring Government support to keep public transport in London operating.
Is £1.65 flat fare for ANY journey on a London bus (using tap and pay) realistic? Of course it isn't. It is even frantically low when compared with many "flat fare" and heavily subsidised European cities.
The Government set a number of conditions before it would provide emergency funding to enable TfL to keep operating, including requiring us to produce a plan to set out how we would achieve significant financial savings. This plan included reducing the extent of our bus network.
So the much admired "London-style" franchise system will involve many frequency cuts and, sooner or later, fares increases - and more fares increases.
We have always adjusted our bus network to reflect our changing city, but the devastating impact of the pandemic (and bad political management!) on our finances has required a more significant review.
Our plan to achieve the savings required by the Government includes a 4% reduction in bus kilometres.
It will need a.lot more than that to balance the books.
In response to this and the savings we have been required to make, we are consulting on changes to some bus routes in and around central London.
We are consulting on withdrawing some individual bus routes or sections of routes where they are covered by other high-frequency services or are close to alternative stops. The changes being consulted on are intended to cause as little disruption to passengers as possible, while making the required savings.
Yeah, right - see below! TfL is now defining "high frequency" as every 12 minues - which it never is.
The Hopper Fare will continue to allow customers to change between buses within 60 minutes of starting journeys without having to pay more.
Pay as you go at adult rate on buses and trams and our Hopper fare gives you unlimited journeys for £1.65, made within one hour of touching in.
As the timing applies to the "touch-in" time you could, in theory, travel for up to TWO HOURS for £1.65. You wonder how the enthusiasts for "London-style" franchising will find the money for their cheap fares?
So what does this "consultation" document tell us?
There's a buss stop poster ...
But, as they say, the devil is in the detail. So fbb will take a detailed look at one sector of the capital and try, firstly, to understand the proposals and, secondly, to communicate them to his loyal readership. It will not be easy.
To achieve this, the usual Saturday and Sunday Variety blogs will be postponed for one day and the sample of complex changes will be revealed (hopefully) in tomorrow's blog. Even if you are not a Londoner, or a London Buses geek, you should be able to follow what is being propounded in the "consultation". Which of course means "what we are going to do anyway whether you like it or not!"
So; fasten your seatbelts, grab the tranquillisers and switch on your thinking head, all ready for tomorrows exciting blog.
Meanwhile - Purple Platinum for London
Anyway, fbb are very busy for the next few days with the two monthly Bible Fellowship meetings, followed by preparation for taking the service at their former church on the Isle of Wight the following weekend. fbb and his Mrs is attending the wedding of a friend's daughter. The service, nosh and party is all on the Saturday at the posh Royal Hotel.
Good, but unanswered, question!