Protest against bus cuts, Photo: Peter Bird Protest against bus cuts, Photo: Peter Bird

Londoners make their feelings clear about appalling plans to cut buses and routes, reports Peter Bird

A large and noisy crowd assembled today at Waterloo Millennium Green and marched to TfL HQ to demand an end to plans to axe 250 buses and 16 bus routes.

The cuts would make journey times longer and much more expensive, cause overcrowding and more congestion on the roads, and be hardest on London’s poorest communities; not to mention people with frailty, or disability, who find buses easier to negotiate than other transport services.

There would clearly be vast implications for bus workers, who kept London moving throughout the pandemic: changed rotas, pay cuts and job losses.

One speaker emphasised the part that bus workers played during the pandemic when he pointed out that 70 of them had lost their lives through Covid infection.

A Unite steward commented that at the moment it is an action to defend public services. However, if the expected implications for staff materialised, there would be a ballot for strike action. Today it was apparent that the will exists to take any necessary measures.

buses-protest-two-lg.jpgPhoto: Peter Bird

Everyone was clear that the impetus for the cuts came from central government but firmly held Sadiq Khan responsible for their possible implementation; he needs to work out if he’s on the side of profit or working people.

The demo started small but grew along the way and culminated in approaching 80 people – much to the dismay of several security guards – occupying TfL headquarters where they chanted save our buses and called for Sadiq Khan or someone from TfL to come and talk to them.

Further demonstrations are planned for early September.

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