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Former mayor: ‘We fought to get the C2 bus – and now we’ll fight to save it’

TfL plan to axe bus route which Roger Robinson campaigned in the 1970s to set up

23 August, 2018 — By Helen Chapman

Labour councillor Roger Robinson

PLANS to cut the C2 bus will be “bitterly fought”, a councillor has told transport chiefs amid warnings that the route is too well used to lose.

Passengers were stun­ned to learn last week that the C2, which runs from Parliament Hill to Camden Town and then the West End, is to be withdrawn by Transport for London. It plans to extend and alter the 88 route to help cover the change.

It will no longer serve Mornington Crescent tube station, Hampstead Road, Warren Street or Euston Road.

Labour councillor Roger Robinson, a former mayor and Camden Council’s disabilities champion, said he had campaigned for the introduction of the C2 bus in the 1970s – and would fight to save it.

Cllr Robinson, who lives in Highgate West Hill, said: “In the 70s I chaired the Parliament Hill bus users’ group as a spin-off from our tenants’ and residents’ association. We got together on a regular basis. Back then, there were buses from King’s Cross to the West End and from Islington, but Camden was cut off. The idea was to sort something out about getting from one place to another.”

He added: “We had meetings and held discussions. We wrote letters and had meetings at the council. We then took it to the MPs and we won the battle. For them to take away this after all that fighting, I will bitterly fight this.”

Under Transport for London plans, the extended route 88 will start at Clapham Common and terminate at Parliament Hill Fields, instead of Camden Town.

The council is urgently reviewing TfL’s sweeping changes to bus routes and how they affect travel links across the borough in response to proposed changes to links between Russell Square and Oxford Street earlier this year.

Cllr Robinson added: “They say it [the C2] is underused, but that is not the case. I am disabled and I often find it difficult to get a seat on the C2. It is regularly used by schoolkids and people going to the West End to work or go shopping. At the moment they have a good service, which is very regular, to get them to town or to work.”

John Murphy, a regional officer at trade union Unite, said: “This is going to have a major impact on the general public who are reliant on this bus service, especially the elderly and schoolchildren. It is imperative that these negative social factors are fully investigated before this vital route is removed.”

TfL’s director of public transport service planning Geoff Hobbs said: “With the C2 and 88 operating in the area there are significantly more buses than there is demand for. Rerouting the 88 would ensure that all locations served by the C2 would still be served by the 88, which has the right capacity for the area.”

He added: “These proposed changes would reduce bus-on-bus congestion, helping to im­prove the record reliability of the network further.”

The consultation, available on the TfL website, runs until September 26.

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