Amid proposals that bus services in Richmond could be reduced, the council has urged TfL to reconsider its plans.

Last year, TfL held a consultation proposing changes to bus routes across London. In Richmond, four routes were affected - the 110/419, H37, 493 and the H22.

Richmond Council has sent in an official response to the consultation, after encouraging residents to respond directly, canvassing the views of all councillors and having heard several views from residents at community conversation events in 2018.

The council's response highlighted the importance of the 110 route serving the West Middlesex Hospital, the importance of H22 for vulnerable communities, and the impact on elderly or less mobile residents who rely public transport.

It was also noted that a proposed reduction in services would negatively impact schools as some routes already suffer from capacity issues during peak periods and reducing services will not discourage parents from using cars.

The council highlighted that while bus usage has fallen in other London boroughs, they have risen in Richmond and should not be reduced. 

Cllr Alexander Ehmann, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Transport, Streetscene and Air Quality, said: “There are some positive proposals in the TFL plan. For example, we welcome the idea of extending the route of the 110, so residents in Heathfield can easily get to that side of the borough.

“Contrary to almost everywhere else in London where bus usage has fallen, our usage in Richmond has risen.

"As a Council committed to improving air quality and helping residents to shift to better forms of transport including public and active travel it is concerning to see anything other than greater provision.

"It is essential that we don’t weaken public transport provision in our borough and we will robustly make this point to our TfL counterparts.

“It is starkly at odds with Mayor of London’s own air quality targets, which will require us to get more people to travelling by public transport.

"Reducing bus services is clearly counter-productive and TfL should think again.”

The full response is available here.

Geoff Hobbs, Director of Public Transport Service Planning at TfL, said: “Buses play a vital role in supporting London’s growth. It is key for us to ensure we are providing the right number of buses in the right places.

"We’re currently analysing responses to our proposals to change the bus network in Richmond, Twickenham and Whitton and will publish a response later this year.”