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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

DfT agrees to replace ‘ghost’ bus with rail service

The Department for Transport (DfT) has agreed that the weekly bus service that is currently running between Ealing Broadway, Kensington Olympia and Wandsworth will be replaced by a train service after pressure from London TravelWatch and Passenger Focus, the national rail watchdog.

In December, the Arriva Cross Country service between Birmingham and Brighton was withdrawn, and replaced by a weekly bus service.

London TravelWatch argued that a proper closure procedure, with full consultation, should be implemented before a bus service could replace an existing rail service.

Sharon Grant, Chair, London TravelWatch, said:

“We were always unhappy with the solution to run a weekly bus, and received complaints from passengers.

“After months of pressing the DfT, we are delighted that there is agreement that a bus service is not an adequate replacement for a train service, and that a full, legal closure process would have to be undertaken before this arrangement could be made permanent.”

However, the DfT has yet to confirm the details of any replacement service.

Sharon Grant continued: “The devil, of course, is in the detail, and we will be looking very closely at any solutions the DfT provide, to ensure that it is provides passengers with a useful service, as well as being cost-effective.”

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