Campaign for improvements to Coulsdon bus services returns
by Matt Johnson
'BELOW STANDARD': Campaigners want improvements to 466 and 60 bus services
CAMPAIGNING: Members of the Action Group at City Hall. From left GLA member for Croydon Steve O'Connell, Oasis Academy deputy principal Mark Pelling, Caterham resident Pam Kedge, Elizebeth Brooks, Coun Chris Wright, TfL representative Andrew Miles and TfL representative Chris Hall
The campaign to improve "below standard" bus services through Coulsdon has been renewed by frustrated passengers.
A new petition launched by members of the newly- formed 466 and 60 Bus Action Group, is calling for improvements to services on the two major routes through the area.
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The 466 has been a source of frustration for many residents since Arriva took it over from Metrobus last August.
And campaigners are now targeting the number 60 which runs from Streatham Garage to the Tudor Rose pub in Old Coulsdon, and is also operated by Arriva.
They say it is unreliable and doesn't turn up every eight to 12 minutes on weekdays like it should.
Action group members went to City Hall in central London on Tuesday to meet representatives from TfL to discuss the issue.
Coulsdon East councillor Chris Wright, who is chairman of the Croydon Public Transport Liaison Panel, travelled with the group and said: "We rely upon buses in that area a great deal and they're not really up to standard.
"They have improved from what they were – particularly the 466 – but the 60 is still well below standard in our opinion. What we want is reliability."
The 466, which runs from Addington to Caterham on the Hill, was blighted by problems at the end of last year.
Passengers complained of waiting more than 30 minutes between buses – despite the timetable for the service declaring one should run every six to 11 minutes on weekdays.
And passengers were left stranded after buses terminated early at Old Coulsdon instead of continuing to final destination, Westway in Caterham on the Hill.
A petition signed by almost 1,000 people demanding change was submitted to Mayor Boris Johnson in November.
And in January, campaigners celebrated after the 466 service seemed to return to normal after Arriva pledged to introduce an extra bus along the route.
But they say it is still not running as it should.
Campaigner Elizebeth Brooks, 55, of Middle Close, Old Coulsdon said: "People are still frustrated with the service.
"Although it has improved in terms of buses running there are still issues with buses not turning up or three turning up in one go.
"Just because we're out in the sticks doesn't mean we have to have a bad bus service."
"The meeting was very positive, with the two TFL representatives listing our complaints."
A future meeting between the group and TfL representatives is set to take place in May.
A spokesman for Arriva London said: "We are very pleased with the improvements to the performance of route 466 since the new schedule was introduced in January.
"We will continue to work closely with TfL to ensure a good service is delivered on all our routes."