FOI request detail

K1 Bus Route

Request ID: FOI-1011-2223
Date published: 11 August 2022

You asked

I would like to see performance statistics on the K1 bus route (from Kingston to New Malden and return) for the past two years. I would like to see information on the timeliness of the service on at least a monthly basis, number of incidents or accidents (and where), driver complaints about the route and any information about disruptions to this service. Also do you have any service level agreements with the bus service provider and what are they and have these service levels been met over the past two years. And what percentage of the buses on this route are electric versus diesel again over the past two years.

We answered

TfL Ref: FOI-1011-2223

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 25th July 2022 asking for information about the K1 bus route.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. 

Specifically you asked:

I would like to see performance statistics on the K1 bus route (from Kingston to New Malden and return) for the past two years. I would like to see information on the timeliness of the service on at least a monthly basis, number of incidents or accidents (and where), driver complaints about the route and any information about disruptions to this service. Also do you have any service level agreements with the bus service provider and what are they and have these service levels been met over the past two years. And what percentage of the buses on this route are electric versus diesel again over the past two years.

I can confirm that we hold some of the information you require.

Note that TfL proactively publishes bus performance data by route on our website here:

https://tfl.gov.uk/forms/14144.aspx

Further to this, colleagues in our buses team have produced the first three pdf documents attached which show route K1 performance data over the last two years and three periods:
 
  • R777 Route Study shows periodic data from P01 2020/21 to P03 2022/23 (01/04/2020 – 24/06/2022);
  • R841 Cycle Time shows periodic data from P01 2021/22 to P13 2021/22 (01/04/2021 – 31/03/2021);
  • R852 Route Stops Dwell Time shows average data between P01 2021/22 and P03 2022/23 (01/04/2021 – 24/06/2022).

The data is presented by performance periods. There are 13 periods each performance year. The performance year starts on the 1st April and ends on 31st March. Each performance period starts on Saturday and ends on Friday, and consists of four weeks, although periods 1 and 13 may be adjusted by a few days to align with the 1st April / 31st March dates.

The following information further explains the data provided and addresses your other questions:

Route K1 contract:

Until 26th June 2020 route K1 was operated by Abellio London West. From 27th June 2020 a new contract with London United (part of RATP) came into effect. London United introduced a new schedule which featured increased running times (in both directions) and slightly reduced layover times (predominantly at New Malden Station end). The increased running times caused a reduction of average speeds from about 13.5 mph to 10.5 mph. The new contract with London United featured a tightened EWT (Excess Waiting Time) minimum performance standard (from 1.10 minutes to 1.00 minutes) and tightened Long Gaps benchmark (from 1.8% to 1%). The ‘Operated Mileage’ minimum standard remained unchanged at 98% level. Peak Vehicle Requirement (PVR) remained unchanged: 12 buses on weekdays, 11 buses on Saturdays and 6 buses on Sundays. The route is contracted to be run with single deck diesel buses. No hybrid, electric or hydrogen buses ever appeared on the route.

Route K1 mileage:

Most of the time the route operated over 98% mileage (better than contractual minimum performance standard).

On some periods operated mileage was below the standard predominantly due to:
 
  • Series of industrial actions in February-April 2021;
  • Major roadworks in New Malden (May-June 2021);
  • Temporary changes to routeing through Kingston to allow covid-related social distancing (autumn 2020 – winter 2021);
  • Staff shortages (winter – spring 2022);
  • Collapsed sewer repair works in Kingston (April-July 2022).


Route K1 reliability:

Route K1 is a high frequency route and therefore is managed to run at equal intervals.

High frequency routes’ reliability is measured by Excess Wait Time (EWT). EWT represents the amount of time that a passenger has had to wait in excess of the time that they should expect to wait based on the schedule.

The K1 constantly operates better than the contractual EWT minimum performance standard. However, its performance was heavily affected by fuel panic buying delays and congestion in September-October 2021.

Long Gaps (gaps in a bus service that are significantly larger than scheduled) were predominantly recorded May-June 2021 and September-October 2021 when the service was affected by major roadworks in New Malden and fuel panic buying delays respectively.

Route K1 bus speeds, running times and stop dwell times:

The average actual bus speeds are marginally higher than the average scheduled bus speeds. Buses run as scheduled, which is also proved by low level of Long Gaps and overall good EWT performance.

End to end Running Time analysis shows that buses typically run a couple of minutes faster than scheduled and those spared minutes are added to driver layover times at both termini. There is no run time / layover time data available for P01-03 2022/23 due to collapsed sewer works related diversion in Kingston.

On each stop buses on average spend between 6 and 26 seconds. Buses spend several minutes at Southborough High School stop, which is served by special school day only trips, and a couple of minutes at Tolworth Tower / Tolworth Station stop (both directions) whilst changing drivers.

Number of incidents or accidents (and where):

For the time period you have requested TfL has identified 117 incidents. These are listed in the attached spreadsheet, including; the date they occurred, the location where it was reported to have occurred, and the type of incident. Please be advised that this data was collected and then reported to TfL by RATP, the company that operates route K1. Also note that the Road Name data is entered by hand, and as such may also describe specific locations on the route either in addition to or in place of the road name itself.

Driver complaints about the route:

TfL does not hold this information. As referenced above, buses in London are operated by private companies, in this case RATP. The drivers are employed by those private companies and any complaints will be made directly to their employer.

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

Yours sincerely,

David Wells
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London
 

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