Request ID: FOI-1103-2122 Date published: 14 September 2021
TfL Ref: 1103 -2021
Please see comments below
To enable us to assist with your request, in relation to your first question, please can you confirm whether you are asking for passenger numbers for the whole of routes 321 and 51 or just part of the routes:
The entire route please
Please also confirm what time period you are asking for passenger numbers for, for example the last week or the last month, and what breakdown you are asking for, for example daily or per service, peak, non peak and so on.
from 2019 through until now , both peak and off peak , it can be a monthly or weekly break down - to see numbers pre and post lockdown periods
I am privy to the amount of empty buses passing by the property everyday as I am working from home
I have some questions I am hoping you can answer for me please?
What is the demand for 321 and 51 buses on this route currently, because to me they are pretty much empty say for half a dozen passengers
Off peak there may be one or two
Now I know this isn't the whole stretch of bus route but this is a good indicator of passenger decline
If it is passenger decline are you running the same service schedule as you were pre covid and if so why?
Are you government funded as well as go ahead London ..are you both being funded to run near empty bus services.
Environment..if you have a real concern for the environment, why are near empty double decker bus services being run at the same schedule if there is clear passenger decline ?..the 321 runs 24 hours. I work late into the night and all I see are completely empty services every 30 minutes
So to sun up i am asking why the supply has remained the same when there is clear passenger decline ?.why not run single decker buses when it's clear demand isn't there.
TfL Ref: 1103-2122
Thank you for your clarified request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 27 August 2021 asking for information about passenger demand for bus routes 321 and 51.
Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm that we hold some of the information you require. You asked for passenger numbers for bus routes 321 and 51 across the entire route from 2019 to current, both peak and off peak and broken down by either week or month.
What is the demand for 321 and 51 buses on this route currently, because to me they are pretty much empty say for half a dozen passengersThe data is attached as requested. We do not hold the data broken down by peak / non peak. Please note the following points on the data:
Week numbers are in the format YYYYWW – where 201901 is the first week of 2019 (January)
Weekdays include the whole week; divide this by five to give a daily figure
If there was a bank holiday, the total weekday trips for that week would be the sum of columns C and D
There are a few weeks from roughly April to June where there was middle door boarding and therefore passengers did not touch in as normal and therefore there is minimal data on usage – these are week numbers 202017 through to 202025
If it is passenger decline are you running the same service schedule as you were pre covid and if so why?We maintained roughly the same level of service during the pandemic to assist with social distancing, provide a good level of service for key workers and support economic recovery. Usage is increasing and is expected to continue to increase, especially with the return of schools.
Generally, routes are planned to provide a frequency which meets demand requirements at the busiest points on the route, on route 51 this is in the Plumstead Common / Welling area and on route 321 this in the Lewisham area.
Are you government funded as well as go ahead London ..are you both being funded to run near empty bus services. GoAhead London receives its income from its contracts with TfL. These are 5-7 year contracts based on providing a asset level of service, and changes have to be negotiated. As part of the emergency funding settlements with the government (the current one running to December 2021) we are required to run a full bus service to initially assist with social distancing and now the economic recovery of London. See above answers on how we resource routes in relation to their busiest sections.
Environment..if you have a real concern for the environment, why are near empty double decker bus services being run at the same schedule if there is clear passenger decline ?..the 321 runs 24 hours. I work late into the night and all I see are completely empty services every 30 minutes. See above answers about how we resource routes and why we have continued to run services at normal frequencies throughout the pandemic. To minimise the environmental impact of running our services, the London bus fleet has been lifted up to the ultra-low emission Euro VI engine emission standard. This means that the most harmful tailpipe emissions of oxides of nitrogen and particulate matter are reduced by up to 80 per cent. We are also introducing rising numbers of zero-emission buses to London as part of longer term plans to cut out tailpipe emissions altogether. We aim for the entire fleet to be zero emission not later than 2037 with options for bringing this forward if external funding can be provided.
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.
Sara Thomas FOI Case Management Team General Counsel Transport for London