Proposed changes to routes 1, 168 and 188

We are proposing to restructure bus routes 1 and 168 and reroute bus route 188. We want to hear your views on our proposals. Our public consultation is now open, and you have from 22 November 2021 until 9 January 2022 to have your say on our suggested changes.

We want this consultation to be accessible to everyone. There is an Easy Read version of our materials in the ‘Documents Section.’ There

We are proposing to restructure bus routes 1 and 168 and reroute bus route 188. We want to hear your views on our proposals. Our public consultation is now open, and you have from 22 November 2021 until 9 January 2022 to have your say on our suggested changes.

We want this consultation to be accessible to everyone. There is an Easy Read version of our materials in the ‘Documents Section.’ There is also an Easy Read version of our survey.

London is constantly changing, and we therefore continuously review the bus network to ensure services reflect changing demand and deliver value for money. In central and inner London, increased rail capacity and improved active travel options continue to change the way people travel. Demand on many central and inner London routes was declining prior to the coronavirus pandemic, and while the pandemic’s long-term impacts on demand are currently unclear, ridership is not expected to fully return to pre-pandemic levels in the near future.

We are therefore reviewing services in central and inner London to ensure they reflect current and projected usage. We want to make sure our bus services match up with passenger demand while ensuring key links across the city are maintained. To do this, some structural changes to routes are required.

Our proposals would help to make the bus network simpler, more efficient and well connected, as well as ensuring resources are better invested and aligned to passenger demand. They would help reduce operating costs - helping ensure that we can continue to invest in the services that customers rely on. Londoners would continue to experience an accessible, regular and reliable bus service.

If you want to read more about this consultation and why we are making these proposals before you complete our survey, you can read the ‘About this consultation’ summary in the Documents section. You can also view the current route map and proposed route map and read the Equality Impact Assessment for the scheme.

What are the proposals?

We are proposing to restructure bus routes 1 and 168 with the aim of simplifying the bus network, while maintaining key bus links across central London. We plan to merge routes 1 and 168, introducing a new route that operates between Hampstead Heath and Canada Water.

We have summarised our proposals below, but you can read more about the changes and rationale in the ‘About this consultation’ summary in the Documents section.

Our proposals are as follows:

  • Merge routes 1 (between Tottenham Court Road and Canada Water) and route 168 (between Hampstead Heath and Old Kent Road) introducing a new route operating between Hampstead Heath and Canada Water (provisionally numbered route 1). This new route would operate at the same frequency as the 168 (one bus every 7.5 - 8 minutes Monday to Saturday during the day and every 10 - 12 minutes in the evenings and on Sundays)
  • Maintain a night route between Tottenham Court Road and Thamesmead. This night route would operate with the same structure as the current N1
  • Cut back route 188 from Russell Square to Holborn and reroute to Tottenham Court Road. This would replace the connections route 1 currently provides between Tottenham Court Road and Kingsway. The rest of route 188 would remain the same

Why are we proposing this?

We have identified several bus routes across London that run parallel journeys along key corridors - this means a number of buses operate between the same sections of roads at a high frequency.

There are a high number of buses operating between Holborn and Bricklayers Arms on routes 1, 168, 172 and 188. However, passenger numbers have decreased, so there are too many buses for the number of passengers. Route 1 shares a long parallel route with route 188 between Holborn and Tower Bridge Road. Route 1 shares another long parallel route with route 168 between Holborn and Bricklayers Arms.

This corridor between central London and Elephant and Castle has a very high frequency of buses, between 35 and 90 buses per hour, meaning a bus arrives at least every two minutes. This is contrasted by a stark decrease in bus usage and passenger demand for buses. We anticipate this reduced passenger demand will continue post-pandemic; therefore, we want to simplify the bus network, and better match bus services to passenger demand.

Have your say

We are running a public consultation about these proposals and would like to hear your views. The consultation is open from 22 November 2021 to 9 January 2022. You can respond by completing our online survey. To do this, you will need to register with your email address. Your details will be kept secure and only used, with your permission, to update you about the outcome of the consultation and our next steps.

If you prefer, you can email your comments to haveyoursay@tfl.gov.uk or write to us at FREEPOST TFL HAVE YOUR SAY (Routes 1, 168 and 188) no stamp needed.

You can also ask us questions throughout the consultation, using the ‘Questions’ tool below.

Ask us your question about this consultation

Please let us know if you have any questions that will help you respond to the consultation. We will then get back to you. Note this tool is not for responding to the consultation, please do that via the survey. 

Please note that any questions you ask may be visible to others and will be subject to moderation. Any personal information will be kept confidential but your user name will be displayed. Further details on moderation are available here

Questions asked may be publicly available after the consultation has closed and we may also include them in the form of a report on the results of the consultation exercise, but any personal information will be kept confidential. Your personal information will be properly safeguarded and processed in accordance with the requirements of privacy and data protection legislation. For further information, please visit our privacy policy

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Page last updated: 02 December 2021, 16:50