Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Night Bus To Croydon Update

Blog readers may recall that Steve O'Connell, our London Assembly member was looking into whether the 213 bus could once again become a night bus all the way through to Croydon.

The Blog can reveal that, having received feedback from many quarters, Mr O'Connell sent a letter last month to Sir Peter Hendy, the Commissioner for Transport asking that the N213 bus be reinstated, saying that as this was the only public transport route at night between Sutton & Croydon from Kingston, a gap in public transport at night had opened up in the area.

He argued that the feedback he has received attests to the fact that the N213 was in fact a busy bus route, offering young people a cheap, safe and quick method to get home from a night out in Croydon, Sutton or Kingston and furthermore, it clearly offered a safer means of travel for women than using an illegal mini-cab service, a taxi now being the only way to commute between these three locations at night.

Mr O'Connell also made the point that bus passengers have found the old N213 service a cost effective means of getting from Worcester Park to East Croydon station and thence on to Gatwick, in order to catch early morning flights as the cost of an Oyster card payment weighs favourably against a £35.00 taxi fare.

In the reply that Mr O'Connell received back from Leon Daniels, the Managing Director of Surface Transport for the Mayor, Mr Daniels stated that the average overnight usage of route N213 between Sutton and Croydon was approximately 60 trips per night on weekdays and 120 at the weekends which approximates to 30,000 journeys per year. By contrast, the Kingston to Sutton section was carrying around 60,000 passengers per year.

He said that if the 213 night service to Croydon was re-extended, this would require an annual subsidy of £140,000 of public funds, representing a subsidy of over £3.50 per additional passenger trip and unfortunately this cost could not be justified.

Mr Daniels did however say that they are mindful of the calls for more night-time services and are looking into whether a less-costly option is available. One possible option they are considering is to run some later journeys on the 154 route, as this also links Croydon and Sutton, and currently has its last departure from Croydon scheduled for half-past midnight.

In Conclusion

So it would appear unlikely that we will get a night bus all the way through to Croydon from Worcester Park but we may be able in the future to change at Sutton for a similar service.

What are people's thoughts on this?