Merton Council rejects calls to scrap 'cash cow' bus lane

Wimbledon Guardian: Opponents of the Hartfield Road bus lane have called it a "cash cow" Opponents of the Hartfield Road bus lane have called it a "cash cow"

Calls to scrap a “cash cow” bus lane in Wimbledon town centre were voted down in the council chamber last week after new figures suggested it was making bus journeys quicker as intended.

Opposition Conservative councillors were defeated in their motion at Merton’s full council meeting last week to scrap the Hartfield Road bus lane that has generated nearly £500,000 since it was introduced last November.

Their motion had criticised the Labour-run administration for having no evidence to suggest the measures had improved the journey times of buses going through the bus lane.

But at the meeting on July 11, it was revealed Transport for London (TfL) had produced the results of a survey of buses travelling through Sir Cyril Black Way and Hartfield Road bus stops.

The survey was conducted over 20 weeks from February to May and compared the same period in 2011.

It found the average journey time fell by 17 per cent during the morning rush hour and 13 per cent over the course of a whole day.

Councillor Andrew Judge, the cabinet member who signed the order to bring back the bus lane, said the Conservatives should apologise for their “embarrassing blunder”.

Coun Judge said: “The bus lane is making a very real difference and that’s good for commuters, good for cyclists and good for the environment.”

The Conservative motion was voted down by the ruling Labour group, which does not have a majority in the council chamber, and the three Merton Park ward Independent councillors.

Councillor Chris Edge, who represents Dundonald ward and has led a petition to scrap the bus lane, said the 17 per cent amounted to 35 seconds.

He said this saving was not a justification for the thousands of fines handed out to motorists.


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Comments (4)

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10:35am Fri 20 Jul 12

Mulder says...

This is completely ridiculous. Councillor Andrew Judge has obviously never been on a bus in Hartfield Lane at 8am in the morning. Only once he has done that, would he realise how stupid his comment is. The single-file traffic cause buses to get stuck in the bus station and the 163 and 164 take ages before they can turn into Hartfield Road.

It is disappointing that % figures from a survey is used to justify this, rather than common sense. The survey is useless, because at both periods there were significant roadworks going on in the Wimbledon area which would have an impact on timings.

Use your common sense - get out there and experience what us commuters have to endure everyday. (I get off the 163/164 at Bertram Cottages and change to the 156 at the top of the hill at Wimbledon Station, because the situation in Hartfield Road is unbearable - it's much faster to walk up than sit on a bus).
This is completely ridiculous. Councillor Andrew Judge has obviously never been on a bus in Hartfield Lane at 8am in the morning. Only once he has done that, would he realise how stupid his comment is. The single-file traffic cause buses to get stuck in the bus station and the 163 and 164 take ages before they can turn into Hartfield Road. It is disappointing that % figures from a survey is used to justify this, rather than common sense. The survey is useless, because at both periods there were significant roadworks going on in the Wimbledon area which would have an impact on timings. Use your common sense - get out there and experience what us commuters have to endure everyday. (I get off the 163/164 at Bertram Cottages and change to the 156 at the top of the hill at Wimbledon Station, because the situation in Hartfield Road is unbearable - it's much faster to walk up than sit on a bus). Mulder
  • Score: 0

8:28pm Fri 20 Jul 12

tjames says...

andrew judge has no idea at all--wos
andrew judge has no idea at all--wos tjames
  • Score: 0

10:22am Thu 26 Jul 12

robmorleyuk says...

Comparing journey times between a period of major roadworks 2011 and reduced roadworks 2012 – who would have thought that journey times through major roadworks would take longer?
Using the statistics that make you look best it always a good idea for winning an argument but it doesn’t represent reality and less self interested, lest ready to accept ‘good news’, wiser councillors would have seen through this.
Comparing journey times between a period of major roadworks 2011 and reduced roadworks 2012 – who would have thought that journey times through major roadworks would take longer? Using the statistics that make you look best it always a good idea for winning an argument but it doesn’t represent reality and less self interested, lest ready to accept ‘good news’, wiser councillors would have seen through this. robmorleyuk
  • Score: 0

10:54am Thu 26 Jul 12

tjames says...

bus lanes increase accident rates and are particularly dangerous for those on 2 wheeled transport+
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bus lanes increase accident rates and are particularly dangerous for those on 2 wheeled transport+ ----------- tjames
  • Score: 0

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