Bus drivers for a private company that runs a Southwark route that is at risk of being scrapped have said they first found out about the changes from a rival company.
Two Arriva drivers, speaking separately, said they found out that the 78 route, which runs from Nunhead to Shoreditch and could be ended under changes proposed by Transport for London (TfL) said they heard of the proposal via a newsletter sent out by Go-Ahead.
TfL contracts out its bus services to several private operators. Arriva is one of the largest bus companies in London contracted to run about 100 bus routes. G0-Ahead is the largest in the capital, operating about a quarter of all TfL routes.
The company said its staff were told about the possible loss of one their routes on June 1, the same day as TfL made the public announcement. Bus drivers said they were worried about the possibility of getting made redundant. Arriva said it did not expect to make anyone redundant.
A spokesperson for Arriva said: “We can confirm our staff were fully notified on TfL’s proposed changes to service 78 and other central London routes on the morning of 1st June, in line with the public announcement by TfL.
“Added to this internal communication process, our Trade Union partners were also briefed at the same time. We have also reassured our staff, as part of this briefing, that no redundancies would be expected as a result of these proposed changes.”
TfL is consulting on scrapping dozens of bus routes in London in response to pressure to cut costs from the government, which has provided £5 billion in emergency support since the pandemic.
Key routes that could be lost in Southwark include the 78, which runs from Nunhead through Peckham and Bermondsey to Shoreditch, the 45, which goes from Brixton through Camberwell to Elephant and Castle, and the 12, which runs from Dulwich, through Peckham and Camberwell to the Elephant.
TfL has said it will make changes to other routes to make up for the lost routes, but the portion of the 78 route from Peckham to Nunhead will not be covered by these changes.
TfL is consulting on the proposals until July 12, so you can have your say here.
Sign a petition against the cuts here.