The former transport minister demonstrated the unreliability of buses when he arrived 40 minutes late for a public meeting and got off at the wrong stop.

Lord Andrew Adonis, travelling to London by bus to research the transport network, stopped off in Mitcham on Tuesday, February 18 for a question and answer bus meeting in ASDA in Bond Road.

The Labour peer however failed to anticipate the high levels of traffic on the 264 route from Croydon and then accidentally hopped off the bus one stop too early, alighting at Mitcham Common.

The shadow infrastructure minister said: "I got off at the Common but actually the bus is so slow-moving in Mitcham, I still arrived at the same time as the bus."

The delay did not deter residents aged eight to 80 staying another two hours to discuss how to improve buses.

Lord Adonis said the main concerns expressed were paying twice when changing buses during one journey, road congestion and unclear information about bus times.

Following his week on buses, the minister is drafting a report which he hopes will influence the Labour manifesto for the upcoming election.

MP for Mitcham and Morden Siobhain McDonagh, who organised the meeting, said: "It was a hugely packed meeting. I have had more e-mails for people to come to the event than for a lot of things.

"Residents found it very useful. People were particularly concerned about safety on the buses.

"The bus was late so it was a real example of how buses are. We tried to use it as a joke."