WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

TfL intend to eradicate buses as a form of transport

07 September, 2018

• I WAS horrified to read that Transport for London propose to do away with the C2, the only bus running through Albany Street (flanked by a huge housing estate, whose residents clearly count for nothing) from Regent Street to north London and back.

When I went online to find the “consultation” I discovered it only ran for four weeks; and that the proposed changes to the 88 route will clearly also be disastrous for many.

Completing this, because it affects a dear friend, I found myself asked questions which I can only describe as frightening: not just my age, but my colour, religion and sexual preference (there was no box I could tick for “I’ll be lucky”).

Which categories of respondents do TfL propose to junk – anyone not young, fit, white, Christian and straight? I thought we lived in an inclusive society.

For five straight days recently BBC TV London News ran items about the incredible difficulties faced by disabled people who attempt to use London Transport, especially the Underground, yet the only response from this appalling organisation is to continue cutting bus routes. How soon before barriers are put up around the West End stating that only the physically fit may enter?

TfL is supposed to be a service for all and not a totalitarian regime. Being disabled I use taxis – but if it’s impossible to get one and I’m desperate to reach a hospital appointment, with assistance and in great pain, I can be got onto and off a bus. It’s decades since I could use the Underground.

And speaking of such appointments, does TfL know or care how many people use the 88’s Warren Street stop – which they also propose cancelling – to get home from University College Hospital?

I’ve met them, in clinics or waiting for scans, and without that stop they will be faced with a maniacal ride along Endell Street and around a maze that eventually, hours later, reaches Oxford Street.

The loss of the C2 means that one of my oldest and dearest friends will no longer be able to visit me. She suffers from extreme claustrophobia, having been trapped in an Underground train in darkness for hours many years ago (and that’s something TfL can guarantee will never happen again?). She can only use buses, a form of transport TfL clearly intend to eradicate.

How can this be allowed to happen? How can TfL choose to provide an Underground service only with, as in Albany Street, very long gaps between some stations? And just how much more inhuman can London get?

ALIDA BAXTER
Dufours Place, W1

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