Agenda and minutes

Public Transport Liaison Panel - Tuesday, 17th October, 2017 9.30 am

Venue: F10, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX. View directions

Contact: Ilona Kytomaa
02087266000 x62683  Email:

No. Item


Welcome, introductions, apologies for absence and disclosures of interest

To invite all attendees to introduce themselves.


The Chair welcomed participants to the meeting and they introduced



Apologies were given for Ian Plowright.


Councillors confirmed that their disclosures of pecuniary interest were up to date.


Minutes of the last Public Transport Liaison Panel meeting held on 13 June 2017


The minutes were signed as an accurate record.


There were a number of matters arising from the minutes:


It was confirmed that the area between the East Croydon railway concourse and the tram stop was the responsibility of highways land and the council. The Head of Highways was investigating the cleaning regime for this specific area.


Action: Council officers to provide an update


A new stand was agreed for the 412 bus route and is to be put in soon. The first and last stops are yet to be confirmed. PTLP members requested that the Banstead Road and Pampisford Road stops should remain in public service.


A further meeting was held between council and TfL officers and agreement in principle has been reached to put in a crossing to the tram stop in West Croydon – It is hoped that this will be completed by Easter 2018.


Panel members discussed the removal of late night services from Victoria and the lack of rail replacement buses. It was also highlighted that the last service from London Bridge station was to be brought forward from 00.45 to 00.15 and the representative of the East Surrey Transport Committee stated that he would be pursuing the suggestion to divert routes 50 and 250 bus services to fill that gap.


Council officers announced that they were in discussions with TfL on a proposed bus review in the north and south of the borough. This is due to commence in late winter 2018. Panel members urged them to put forward a proposal to increase capacity on the 109 bus route, which often had half hour gaps in services.


It was reported that the countdown at the bus stop on the flyover had finally been reinstated.


Presentation on consultation on cashless trams and publicity on the use of one-day passes on trams


A presentation was given by Nick Baker, Head of Stakeholder Relations, London Trams.

He explained that the objective of this initiative was to phase out the ticket vending machines at tram stops, which were getting old and not being used frequently. Panel members heard that only 0.3% of passengers used ticket vending machines. One key reason why passengers were moving away from this form of payment was cost: a single ticket costs £2.60 whereas paying with an Oyster card or contactless card costs £1.50.

TfL have used the lessons learnt from the process of transferring to cashless payments on buses to prepare for cashless payments on trams. For instance, staff will be in attendance at ticket machines to raise awareness of the forthcoming change and alternative methods of payment. In addition, there will be information panels providing information on alternative methods of payment, and a help point to assist passengers with additional queries (including questions on how to deal with being unable to pay).

As those most likely to experience problems will probably be from outside the borough or the country, officers will be working with hotels to raise awareness of these changes.


Panel members were informed that local bye-laws regarding non-payment of fares would have to be changed prior to the transition to cashless payments. A very flexible approach would be adopted during the early days of cashless payments to ensure that no passengers would be stranded and unable to reach their destination. 


Implementation will start in April 2018 if bye laws have been changed by the Department for Transport. This will be a phased process, and all ticket machines are due to be removed by September 2018.


Panel members highlighted the use of one day bus and tram passes which could be purchased from railway booking offices and ticket machines, as well as ticket shops, was an option for people without contactless cards or Oyster cards. They added that over a million of these had been purchased last year despite the low publicity on these passes, and urged TfL to promote their use on trams when they go cashless.


Panel members also asked for trams to enable negative balances on Oyster cards for one single journey, to be covered when the card was recharged. This provision was originally made as part of the transition to cashless buses. They were advised that this might not be possible, although a panel member stated that it could be done in his experience as long as the Oyster card had a minimum of £1 on the card. Nick Baker undertook to investigate further.

Action: Nick Baker to provide an update


The Panel also discussed the use of national concessionary passes on tram journeys, which would need to be authorised by the Mayor.

New tram time-table proposals


The Head of Stakeholder Relations apologised for the late engagement carried out on new tram time-table proposals for the New Addington to Wimbledon service. He explained the rationale behind the proposals for a new tram time-table  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30/17


Update on New Addington bus performance and diversion of the 130 bus route


Cllr Oliver Lewis explained that the changes brought in two years ago, including the removal of one bus stop in King Henry’s Drive which had caused problems for local residents.  He also reported problems with the early end of services and coordination between bus and tram services. He explained that the 64 and 130 bus routes frequently ran close together, leading to long waits before the next pair of buses arrived. 

The East Surrey Transport Committee representative explained that a solution to this had been suggested at previous meetings, namely, to divert the 130 bus route clockwise around the estate, thus covering a wider area except for a short stretch which was covered by the 64 bus. He commented that this could easily have been done as part of the new bus contract.


It was pointed out that the 64 bus route could take in King Henry’s Drive and cover the “dip” in the road where the bus stop had been removed. However, Panel members observed that this bus ran far less frequently be only hourly in the evenings than the 130 bus, which ran about once every 20 minutes.


The TfL representative asked councillors and officers to draw up and send to TfL a unified list of requests for changes, ensuring these had broad support. This had been suggested at previous meetings; but no such document had been received as yet. He added that it was very difficult to coordinate bus and tram timetables as buses tended to get caught up in traffic jams during rush hour and their progress was difficult to predict.


The Chair asked New Addington councillors to send him key bullet points on the changes they wished to see, which would be forwarded to officers to turn them into an official letter, to be sent by Cllr Stuart King to TfL. It was requested that this letter should include a request for the 64 bus to turn around at Central Parade, rather than Addington Village when they were running late.

Action: PTLP chair, New Addington councillors, council officers and Cllr Stuart King to work together on a letter to TfL


Cllr Hall commented that the new bus and tram timetables were mismatched before any traffic issues came to exacerbate the situation and that some fine-tuning was necessary to minimise the problem. 


In answer to a question on the forthcoming review of bus services, officers stated that its terms of reference were being prepared and that the review would commence around February 2018. 



Discussion on ticket machine performance and capabilities across modes


The Panel reported that Southern and London Overground ticket machines did not accept the new £1 coins and the new £5 and £10 bank notes.  The Southern Railway representative undertook to investigate the situation and come back with answers to the next meeting of the Panel.

She also heard that many complaints were being made about the lack of maintenance to ticket machines, as a result of which passengers could not use them to buy tickets. She replied that the company was aware of this problem and that an improvement plan was in place.


Panel members added that Oyster capability also needed to be made available on all machines.

Action: Southern Railway representative


The Chair suggested that an item be included in the next Panel meeting on the roll-out of new ticket machines.


Presentation on public transport implications of proposed pedestrianisation of Croydon High Street


Officers explained that this 12 month trial was introduced as part of the council’s Growth Zone initiative, in partnership with Greater London Authority, to regenerate the town centre. The initiative aims to boost footfall to and from High Street, and will create a new public space as the street will be closed to all vehicular traffic.    


Officers outlined the following planned changes:


·       Park Street will be made one way up to the junction with St George’s Walk.


·       All buses that used to travel along High Street will instead travel via St George’s Walk.


·       The taxi rank on High Street will be relocated to Park Street.


·       The two bus stops on Park Street will be relocated further up Park Street to the current location of the bus stand.


·       The bus lane currently on Park Street will be removed to make way for all general traffic.


·       Along St George’s Walk, the motorcycle bays will be repositioned to allow room for the new bus stand which will have moved from Park Street. Some bus standing will be relocated to Park Lane.


·       Croydon High Street will be closed between Katherine Street and Park Street to all traffic including buses and taxis.


Officers explained that the next steps would include planning communications with the public and a wide range of stakeholders including members of the Public Transport Liaison Panel, to improve the night-time economy and improve footfall.

Panel members expressed concerns about the lack of information available at bus stops following their relocation.  Officers apologised for the delay in displaying information and advice. They stated that information on the relocated taxi rank had been displayed and that seven transport officers had been posted to areas where the changes had taken place to help passengers wait for their buses at the right stops.

Council officers stressed that all the work on modelling the new layout and moving bus stops had been carried out in partnership with TfL.  Panel members stated however that there had been a lack of consultation and information on the above changes.


It was suggested that the 109 bus might now be extended to a final stop in South Croydon. Charles King also asked why changes had been made to route 50 as the route was the least affected by the changes and it no longer stopped at the common stop in Katherine Street with other buses for Streatham. It was also suggested by Councillor Pelling that the 119 bus stop might also be relocated to Katharine Street outside the town hall as well as Park Street which he felt to be a somewhat dingy location.


Officers explained that the changes were part of a pilot and that all feedback was warmly welcome.


Stephen Aselford asked if in the new tender if route 468 from where it might progress to the South Croydon depot at the end of its run.


The Mayor's Transport Strategy

- The Council’s response to the consultation

- Exclusion of Metro services in the south of the borough

- Issues with taxi services and licensed car hire


Officers announced that the Council response to consultation on the draft strategy had been sent in on 2 October. They stated that the Council welcomed the strategy on the whole.

Two key points were made on the draft strategy:


1)    The draft strategy stated that the Mayor of London wished to take over the Metro services. However, it was noticed that the draft strategy excluded 7 stations in Croydon, including Caterham and Tattenham Corner, which will now remain Metro lines and no longer Thameslink. Panel members asked for clarification on their proposed status.


2)    Panel members highlighted the fact that ‘all taxi and licensed car journeys must end in London’ in the draft strategy, whereas many people might wish to travel to an address outside London, where they or their families and friends might live. They sought clarification on this perplexing requirement. 


Panel members also pointed to the lack of support in the draft strategy for rail infrastructure in Croydon. They stressed the need for the council to make representations to the Mayor on the need to develop this very important means of transport to secure the economic vitality of the borough. Council officers gave assurances that they were working closely with Network Rail and lobbying government as they worked on a strategy for the whole South-East London region.       

Panel members were advised that the final transport strategy would be published in the first half of 2018.

The Chair suggested that the February meeting of the Panel should include an item on the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.



Update on noise from Thornton Heath bus garage


Panel members were advised that a productive meeting on this issue had been held at the Thornton Heath bus garage on 15 October, which was attended by a residents’ spokesperson, the PTLP Chair, Councillor Bernadette Khan, council and Arriva representatives and the manager of the garage.  The Chair stated that it had been encouraging to hear that steps were being taken by the manager to ensure that staff working at the garage were “good neighbours”. He added that the Panel would keep a watching brief on this matter and return to it at the following meeting.



Update on GTR performance, industrial action and new timetable


The Southern Railway representative stated that consultation on the timetable had ended in summer and yielded over 10,000 responses.

She also announced that consultation on weekend and late night services was due to start in November.

Panel members were advised that major works were scheduled for Christmas and Boxing Day between Victoria and Streatham, in London Bridge and in the Redhill area.

The Southern Railway representative was questioned on the suggestion to divert the 50 bus route to mitigate the impact of ending late night train services from Victoria and Clapham Junction. She replied that mitigation measures would involve Thameslink services from Blackfriars railway station.  Panel members stressed the need for TfL, GTR and council officers to work together to deal with the impact of doing away with late trains from Victoria and London Bridge to East Croydon and beyond, which would make it very difficult to get back from London at night. They stressed the practicality of amending the 50 and 250 bus routes to address this problem and the need for the above stakeholders to meet to start exploring this suggested approach.

Council officers expressed their concerns regarding the reduced number of train services at peak time. For instance, they quoted a one and a half hour gap in services between Norwood Junction and East Croydon, the paucity of trains between East Croydon and Milton Keynes and between Selhurst, Norbury and Victoria which remained an hourly service in the off-peak and on Saturdays.


Panel members also raised the disadvantages of the timing of the new 9.55am train from Woodmansterne towards London, which replaces the previous 9.34am service, and asked for the original timetabling to be reinstated or an easement on off-peak tickets and Oyster fares.



Bus issues

- Update on 289 and 455 bus route changes

- Bus route 407: capacity issues from Croydon to Sutton
- X26: Update on the introduction of new buses in December 2017 – Should there now be a night service on this route?


289 and 455 buses

Panel members and ward councillors expressed unhappiness at the removal of bus stops on these bus routes.  Some passengers now have to cross the very busy Purley Way to reach the nearest bus stop. It was pointed out that residents taking part in consultation had been categorical in their insistence that bus stops at Drury Crescent and Trafalgar Way should remain as they were. The East Surrey Transport Committee representative stressed the importance of the 289 bus stop as a link to trams and expressed concerns about the fact that TfL had stated this served only 100 passengers per day. Panel members also highlighted the fact that an alternative to removing bus stops had been suggested during consultation.

It was pointed out that the Drury Crescent and Trafalgar Way bus stops had been very busy due to their proximity to local shops, and were used by many old age pensioners, some of whom have mobility issues.  TfL was challenged as to its assessment of the equalities impact of the bus stop removal.

The TfL representative announced that the outcome of discussions on the above bus stops would be decided in late 2017 or early 2018.  The Chair of the Panel stated that this was an important issue, which the Panel would continue to campaign robustly on.

The TfL representative gave feedback on proposed changes to various bus routes:

·       407: TfL is examining capacity and may introduce double decker buses.

·       466: This is to be examined by TfL officers following discussions with the head teacher of Coloma School, who reported severe congestion and requested a more frequent service past the school.

·       X26 to London Heathrow: The TfL representative confirmed that there were no plans for night services along this route.


In response to the above feedback, Panel members emphasised the need to alleviate capacity problems along east-west routes in the borough. As regards to the X26, the TfL representative was informed that this was used by residents working night shifts. There was also support for reinstating the Waddon bus stop along this route.


Action: TfL representative to report back


Panel members enquired whether the 412 and 157 routes would run all night during the Christmas season, as they had done in the previous year.


Action: TfL representative to report back


Panel members expressed concerns regarding rumours that the 166 bus route to Epsom Hospital might be cut. They explained that public transport was essential to reach Epsom and St Helier Hospital, which was the only orthopaedic hospital in the whole of South London. Council officers undertook to work with the TfL representative on this issue at the earliest opportunity.

Action: Council officers and TfL representative to report back


Update on "Access for All" and step-free access at railway stations


Panel members were given a presentation on progress being made at Coulsdon South and Selhurst railway stations.  All being well, construction is due to commence in early 2018.  

Officers commented that plans for Norwood Junction station were still being considered and were dependent on progress with Mainline Brighton plans. In addition, they reported that Network Rail had been advised of the council’s aspirations regarding Waddon railway station.

Panel members welcomed the update. However, they urged the council to lobby for improvements to the eight other stations on the list for future Access for All improvements.


Any other business

To consider any other business at the Chair’s discretion.


The Southern Railway representative announced that an upgrade of the
Waddon ticket machine would be carried out week commencing 16 November.

The PTLP Chair announced that a meeting had taken place between the PTLP Chair, officers and ward councillors regarding bus services to Tollers Lane, Old Coulsdon. Agreement had been reached to consult in November on proposals to make Tollers Lane one way in order to enable a bus route to run along this narrow thoroughfare.

It was suggested that information on Christmas transport timetables might be published in the Christmas edition of “Your Croydon”.


Panel members were advised that officers at Hounslow councils had produced a paper on proposals to improve access to Heathrow airport from the south of the Capital, which could inform future proposals for better connectivity between Croydon and the airport.


Action: Council officers to circulate the document



Items for next meeting

To suggest items to be discussed at the next meeting of the panel.


The following items were suggested:


·       Update on Mayor’s Transport Strategy

·       TfL 2018 bus review

·       GTR performance

·       Short presentation on station skipping (rationale, prevalence, stations affected and thresholds for triggering this procedure)

·       Update on bridge repairs

·       Upgrading of ticket machines

·       Update on measures to minimise noise at Thornton Heath bus garage

·       Connectivity with Heathrow airport



Dates of future meetings

- 17 October 2017

- 27 February 2018


Tuesday 27 February 2018