CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Why is TfL taking away our digital bus info displays?

05 September, 2019

Why has Transport for London removed the bus stop countdown indicators?

• I AM writing to share the concern of your correspondent (Give us back the digital information board at the bus stop, August 22).

It appears that Transport for London is phasing out the bus stop countdown indicators which inform passengers how long they have to wait for their next bus.

Last week the Route C11 and 168 north and southbound bus shelters outside Belsize Park underground station were removed.

They were replaced by new shelters of virtually identical design but minus the waiting time indicators. Why has this been done?

Until now passengers at these stops could make an informed choice whether to wait for a bus or use the nearby tube. They could also choose which of two bus routes would be more convenient for their destination.

Patients and visitors for the Royal Free Hospital could decide whether to wait for a bus or face the walk. This sensible and helpful service has now been removed.

The bus shelter signs invite those with mobile phones to text for waiting time information at 12p per call. Assuming two requests per day, do passengers really want to spend £50 per year for this privilege?

Who made this retrograde decision? Were London’s passenger consultative bodies involved and if so what was their response?

I telephoned TfL to try to establish some facts. Ironically, in view of the nature of my complaint, the TfL automated call system helpfully counted down my position in the queue from ninth to first!

I was told that the countdowns were not being reinstated “probably because of the costs”. If that is indeed the case then why not have left the existing shelters in place and saved the even greater cost of installing new inferior versions.

TfL should reverse this retrograde decision and reinstate the much-valued countdown displays.

TONY KERPEL
Downside Crescent, NW3

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