I am not impressed about being misled about the 24 bus service changes

Thursday, 23rd June

24 bus in Pimlico

Misled on the buses

• YOUR readers deserve better from their present and prospective councillors than to be misled about something as important as the proposed change in the 24 bus route.

Consider these extracts from the CNJs of June 9 and 16:

— “Help Labour save the 24”. The cabinet member for a sustainable Camden wrote : “I am backing Camden Labour’s campaign to save local bus routes at risk of being scrapped. This includes the 24, a much-loved service that begins at South End Green and the Royal Free Hospital which could be lost for good”. And “you can sign the Camden Labour petition here…”

— “Fighting for the No 24”. The Labour candidate for a by-election on July 7 wrote “…The 24 bus is essential for so many people. It is a lifeline for NHS staff, patients, their friends and family, as well as local residents. It connects two major London hospitals, the Royal Free and UCLH. And it provides access to anyone using a wheelchair or travelling with a buggy.”

— “We need a thriving bus network”. Four Liberal Democrat Camden councillors, wrote: “The 24 plays a particularly important role helping people reach the Royal Free Hospital and the University College Hospital”

Camden Labour’s petition, referred to in the above letter from the “cabinet member for a sustainable Camden” includes “We are campaigning to save the 24 bus route, which is at real risk of being scrapped. This means Hampstead risks being left with much less bus capacity and fewer regular buses. The 24 bus route is London’s oldest continuous bus route and is absolutely essential for getting around Hampstead and for visiting the Royal Free Hospital. The route is also a real lifeline for people using pushchairs and wheelchairs”.

These people have no excuse for misleading the public.

One well-known resident who lives a few yards from the 24 bus stop so misread the situation that s/he wrote on social media “Disgusting! Is there a petition? Or a protest march to parliament down the 24 route?”

In particular we are often told that passengers will no longer be able to travel between the Royal Free and University College hospitals.

So let me stress that under the proposal the 88 bus will start where the 24 starts now at South End Green (a few yards from the Royal Free) and follow the exact existing 24 bus route all the way to Parliament Square.

Anyone wanting to go to Pimlico will need to change at that point as it will then follow Millbank and cross Vauxhall Bridge before eventually terminating in Clapham Common.

So if you want to go to Clapham you are in luck. If it’s Victoria and Pimlico, you have the inconvenience of changing.

For the vast majority who join and leave the 24 at stops between South End Green and Parliament Square, I expect the only difference will be the bus will be numbered 88 not 24. A pity for many of us who are sentimental about the 24 but surely not something to die on the wire for.

As a long-standing Labour Party member I am not impressed by those councillors, especially the responsible cabinet member. They have intentionally or otherwise misled us.

Georgia Gould, you need to get your troops in line!

BRIAN BENJAMIN
Queen’s Crescent, NW5

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