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Croydon to Sutton bus services will improve, promises TfL director

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A TRANSPORT boss has promised improvements to two "appallingly unreliable" services are just around the corner.

TFL's director of performance of London Buses, Clare Kavanagh, says the 463 and 455 buses should be running much better now obstructive road works have been finished.

The routes – from Sutton to Kenley and Coulsdon – have been plagued by delays for around a year.

Ms Kavanagh blamed the delays on roadworks in Beddington Lane and Woodcote Road, which have recently been finished.

She said the roadworks being carried out by Southern Gas Networks had started in April 2012 but were paused during the Olympic Games, due to a city-wide roadworks embargo.

She added: "I understand that they should be completed now and so the service is improving.

"We apologise to passengers for the problems they have experienced on these routes.

"We assure them that both routes will deliver a much-improved standard of service once all the roadworks have finished."

She added they had been working with the routes' operators, Abellio London (455) and Quality Line (463), to lessen the effect of the works.

"Extra buses have been introduced on route 463 and extra supervision has been introduced on both routes to manage any delays," she said.

But the borough's Greater London Assembly member, Steve O'Connell, says the long-term problem may demand greater remedies.

Mr O'Connell, who is also a Kenley councillor, said: "I am not an expert but it seems to me the routes are too long and subject to too many alterations, so we may need to halve the routes so they are more dependable."

Mr O'Connell tabled a written question to London mayor Boris Johnson last week, seeking his assurance the service would be improved.

He added: "As a ward councillor, the 455 serves the most vulnerable part of my community up at the top of Old Lodge Lane where people are very much dependent on the service.

"The shortcomings of the services have been flagged up for some time.

"It got better, then it got worse again. It is not good enough.

"Particularly now the weather has changed, we do not want people stuck out in the cold."

He said he had also spoken about the problem with the managing director of Transport for London.

Charles King, chairman of the East Coulsdon Residents' Association, said: "The routes have been appallingly unreliable for about a year.

"The problems are normally around rush hours and particularly around school times.

"Two Fridays ago, one was up to two hours late."

Croydon to Sutton bus services will improve, promises TfL director


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