111 Diversions

Statement by Councillor Geoffrey Samuel re Bus route 111 diversions

Ten days ago the 111 bus began a diversion, abandoning would-be passengers at bus stops, sending the bus hurtling non-stop down non-bus streets. No advance warning to passengers, not even on the website. No advance warning to the Council The reason ? Overhanging branches. As soon as I alerted council officers they acted with amazing speed and trimmed the branches. And so the bus could resume its normal route ? Not at all.

After a few hours of normal service they diverted once again – different overhanging branches. Once again, after I became involved, speedy officer action. So all was well. Oh, no. Within a few days another diversion. And once again no way in which an intending passenger could find out either at the bus stop, the website or in response to phone calls. And once again the Council was not given the opportunity to clear the path and avoid a further diversion.

Of course, the 111 is not carrying its normal load but it is a vital link for many going to work or undertaking other essential travel. I have asked for formal protests to be registered. Our officers have been outstanding. But where is the Council leadership? We want strong action from them despite their usual unwillingness to criticise Mayor Khan’s running of TfL.