Plea Made for Public to Be Allow To Use University Bus Service

Richmond Council want 894 from Roehampton to Barnes to be available to all

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Richmond Council is urging the University of Roehampton to reconsider its plans for an amended route for its 'student-only' bus from the University to Barnes and ask TfL to consider making the route open for everyone or avoid using heavily congested residential roads.

Since Hammersmith Bridge closed to traffic, there have been significant changes to the bus network in Barnes, Mortlake and Roehampton. As a result, many people are now unable to easily get around the area or over to Hammersmith.

In addition, due to the bridge closure, roads such as Lonsdale Road have become a turning circle for buses and their return routes.

Following significant public feedback and representations from the Council, TfL have already made changes to the local network – partially reinstating the 209 earlier this summer.

However, even with this change, residents are still struggling to access public transport. This includes students and staff from Roehampton University, who rely on the buses as a key link to the underground network in Hammersmith.

The university has therefore asked TfL to agree to a new extended route for its private bus service from the university to the bridge (the 849 bus). The proposed new route will need to loop through Lonsdale Road and Barnes High Street. This route would be funded by the university and not open to the general public. The route would involve the bus travelling down residential roads and local people would not be able to utilise the service.

TfL are currently consulting on the proposals.

Cllr Alexander Ehmann, Chair of the Transport and Air Quality Committee for Richmond Council, has asked TfL to reconsider their proposals. "I appreciate that students and staff at Roehampton University are struggling to get to and from their place of work or study each day. However, so are many other people in the local area.

"Rather than amending the network in a piecemeal way, and adding more vehicles on the roads that only serve certain people, I would like to encourage TfL to have a more strategic review of the bus network in the area."

"It is clear that we need improvements. But, having a bus that drives down Lonsdale Road and Barnes High Street that doesn’t stop and is not able to pick up local people, seems nonsensical to me. Come on TfL, you can do better!"

A spokesperson for the University of Roehampton told this website: “This is a private bus, paid for entirely by the University. Throughout the year we have been having helpful discussions with Transport for London and local stakeholders, including our local councils, regarding improving public transport in the area. We will be continuing these going forwards.”

TfL has been asked for comment on the proposal.

August 23, 2019

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