London’s “slowest” bus has been saved following a Transport for London u-turn – but at a cost.
The number 11 bus used to be the city’s slowest service, according to TfL figures, and would travel at a snail’s pace of 6.4mph between Fulham and Central London – roughly a jogging pace.
But the route is set to be changed and the bus will no longer travel from West to East through the centre of the city.
Instead, the bus will only continue in spirit and in number as it travels from Fulham south of the river to Waterloo on a new course.
The route is one of the very few services that will be scrapped after London mayor Sadiq Khan stopped controversial plans to axe 22 bus routes and reduce the service of almost 60 more.
More than 21,500 people responded from across London to the TfL consultation into bus changes.
Now the Mayor has decided to save all the buses bar the 11, 16 and 52.
The bus arrives every seven to 10 minutes and was a much-loved route across the capital, residents claim.
Over 1,500 people contacted TfL about the number 11 bus and a campaign run by Conservative MPs, Nickie Aiken and Greg Hands, to defend the bus and other West London routes racked up 10,000 signatures.
The MPs promised to fight tooth and nail to protect the bus route which previously snaked through Chelsea and Westminster before passing St Paul’s on its way to Liverpool Street.
There are also concerns for the N11 bus which will have its route changed to run from Trafalgar Square to Ealing Broadway.
The routes were first put at risk as TfL struggled to balance the books following the pandemic and unsuccessful negotiations with the Government for more funding.
Chelsea and Fulham MP Greg Hands previously warned TfL that fewer services will mean more people will have to cram onto other buses and commuters, disabled residents and parents with pushchairs will be left battling for space.
The MP also highlighted that doctors, nurses, bartenders and waiters would face longer and more expensive journeys home from their shifts if night buses were scrapped.
While the 11 bus route has been changed, the key number 14 route has been saved and it will continue to run from Putney past Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital, the Royal Brompton Hospital and the Royal Marsden.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “I was furious on behalf of Londoners that TfL was having to consider reducing the bus network due to conditions attached by the government to the funding deal.
“The strength of feeling across the capital was clear to me, and I was adamant that I would explore every avenue available to me to save as many buses as possible.
“This will mean tough decisions elsewhere, but I am very pleased that the vast majority of bus routes proposed to be cut due to the Government’s funding conditions can now be saved.”
Pictured top: Number 11 bus (Picture: Jacob Phillips)