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“Please help me persuade Transport for London to increase capacity on bus route X26” – Richard Marston

Description

Richard Marston

The X26 service between Croydon and Heathrow Airport provides the only practical public transport connection from south-west London to Heathrow Airport.
The service runs every 30 minutes or every hour depending on the time of day but regardless of when you travel the buses are overcrowded with many people standing, even outside of rush hours.
The service is very popular but the frequency and type of vehicle are not appropriate for the number of users.
Please increase the frequency to every 15 minutes and/or replace the single deck buses currently used with double deck vehicles.

Problem History

  • 1 Richard Marston reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 13:10 31 Aug 2011
  • 2 Richard Marston wrote to Transport for London close 13:10 31 Aug 2011

    Here is the letter that Richard Marston wrote.

    X26 bus service overcrowding

    The X26 service between Croydon and Heathrow Airport provides the only practical public transport connection from south-west London to Heathrow Airport.
    The service runs every 30 minutes or every hour depending on the time of day but regardless of when you travel the buses are overcrowded with many people standing, even outside of rush hours.
    The service is very popular but the frequency and type of vehicle are not appropriate for the number of users.
    Please increase the frequency to every 15 minutes and/or replace the single deck buses currently used with double deck vehicles.

  • 3 [email address] responded to Richard Marston close 13:15 31 Aug 2011
    Thank you for your email. We can now confirm that this has been
    received.

    For further information about the Surface Transport Complaints
    and Feedback Policy including timescales, please see
    [1]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tf...

    Problems with roadworks or other street faults? In support of
    the Mayor’s Streetworks Code of Conduct to help cut congestion,
    please report these issues by visiting
    [2]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/reportas...

    show quoted sections

    References

    Visible links
    1. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tf...
    2. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/reportas...
  • 4 [email address] responded to Richard Marston close 12:51 21 Sep 2011
    Our Ref:         1009426332

    Date:              21.09.2011

    Mr R Marston

    [increase capacity on bus route X26 email]

    Dear  Mr Marston

    Re: Route X26

    Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding route X26. 

    I am very sorry to hear of the inconvenience and frustration you
    have experienced on this service. I know it can be unpleasant to
    travel on a very full bus. Route controllers work very hard to
    maintain a consistent and reliable service that meets the needs
    of all passengers, but it can be challenging when confronted
    with frequent disruptions due to congestion, accidents and
    roadworks.

    I would like to assure you that the capacity and frequency of
    all London bus routes are routinely assessed in relation to
    the demand for a service. Transport for London (TfL) would not
    look to increase the capacity of a route as a result of
    passengers being required to stand, as the capacity of a service
    includes standing space. Priority seating is available on all
    buses for passengers who are not able to stand.

    Every 12 weeks we carry out Quality of Service Indicator (QSI)
    surveys. These measure the reliability of a route and focus on
    regularity and punctuality. Mystery Traveller Surveys and
    Customer Satisfaction Surveys are also carried out monthly and
    monitor the quality of service from a customer perspective.

    Recent reviews of route X26 have shown that capacity is
    sufficient to meet passenger demand, and so I regret to inform
    you that there are no current plans to increase the service
    capacity. TfL is satisfied that the route X26 timetable
    throughout the week and on weekends is appropriate in comparison
    to passenger demand.

    The nature of an express route is that they do not run as
    frequently as shorter bus routes, but they run more quickly from
    departure point to destination, with fewer stops in between.
    Also, while this bus does serve Heathrow Airport, please
    remember that it is still a local bus service, and not a coach.
    Therefore, we do not have additional storage space for luggage,
    and we do not expect all passengers to be able to have a seat.

    Once again, please accept my sincere apology for the
    difficulties you have experienced on this route, and thank you
    for bringing them to our attention. If I can be of any further
    assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

    Yours sincerely

    Margaret Davis

    Customer Service Advisor

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  • 5 Jo Muddeman commented close 10:21 23 May 2012

    Pretty much the same answer I got when I raised similar issues! I particularly like the bit in the response about the X26 not being a coach service - I got exactly the same response! I don't expect a seat 100% of the time, but after paying my fare, it would be good after being on my feet all day to get one 50% of the time - if only!! The luggage provision is also woefully inadequate - I have travelled on X26s with so much luggage in the aisles that standing room has been much reduced and I have on occasions fallen over suitcases which have been piled precariously! I KNOW it is not a coach service, but if you are going to provide a bus service that serves one of the busiest airports then it isn't difficult to see that it is going to be very busy and very crowded if all you use are single deckers with a capacity of 70 people. In 2.5 years of using this service at all times of the day and evening I can actually count the few ocassions when the bus has not been full to capacity - not sure which services are measured as part of the monitoring system - probably the middle of a weekday which is hardly representative! Try early mornings, rush hour evening and even 11 pm on Saturdays - I got a bus at that time last Saturday and by Cromwell Road it was standing room only.

  • 6 Richard Marston commented close 13:44 24 May 2012

    Glad it's not just me Jo. My last trip was on one of the new, but still single deck, buses and I had to fight my way around the luggage which had filled the racks and was taking up the entire disabled/pram area. If someone with a wheelchair had turned up they would not have got on board; I just had to put up with standing yet again. Last time I tried an X26 was to travel from Kingston to Worcester Park at about 18:15 on a Friday a couple of weeks ago. The bus was so full I abandoned my attempt to get on board and waited for the slower 213.

  • 7 Anna Moran commented close 14:25 21 Nov 2013

    Some people have far to much time on their hands to complain about buses. Does this really anger people enough to write on the internet about it? I just tried to look up the x26 bus times and saw these comments which has made me chuckle. We should feel happy to have buses in the first place. I've just been living and working overseas and trust me..where I've been they would have no concept of what we might be complaining about over here. People are crushed into tiny vehicles, accidents happen all the time, you might get someone even sitting on your lap or have to hold your body in a twisted position for an hour. It was that or I had to walk. Did I once hear anyone complain..nope. Our transport system is a dream. You won't realise that until you see the transport system in other countries. Just handle having to stand up. Trust me, you wouldn't be able to handle the situation elsewhere. Just be happy for what you have, you're very lucky.

  • 8 Richard Marston commented close 15:15 21 Nov 2013

    Anna

    Not angry, just trying to encourage TfL to change the frequency or the type of bus used on the X26 so that capacity is increased. It is a popular route and increased capacity should help to encourage more use of this route and less use of cars.

    Richard

Comment
  • started 31 August 2011
  • supporters 6
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