All posts by Charles Martin

On-demand bus in Sutton

A new on-demand bus service, GoSutton, was launched for a twelve-month trial period on 28 May 2019.

The service, which does not have a fixed route or schedule, ‘responds’ to a request to be picked up by the customer at the desired time of travel.


The key target markets for the service are those who usually use their car and who are not, for vari- ous reasons, using conventional public transport, walking or cycling. This small-scale research trial, operating across about half of the geographical area of the London Borough of Sutton between 06:30 and 21:30 seven days-a-week, is exploring whether these on-demand services can improve public transport while improving accessibility and air quality (by reducing car use) in an area of outer London where car dependency is high and other forms of public trans- port have limited availability.
The ability to support the ob- jectives of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, including mode shift away from car travel and meeting the Healthy Streets principles, will be key to its success.

Early indicators are promising. By mid-July, just six weeks after the launch of the trial, 3,000 accounts had been opened by residents and up to 160 journeys were be- ing made on a weekday (a 25 per cent week-on-week growth). The service has proved popular across the whole operating area, and the majority of users are between 25 and 55 years of age. Initially the highest demand had been during the inter-peak period, but within a short time this has ex- panded to include the commuter market (with evidence that these users are switching from the car). Fewer than half of the users (around 40 per cent) are on con- cessionary fares. The typical waiting time is eight minutes.

On 19th July 2019, TfL opened a consultation relating to a second demand responsive bus ser- vice trial in Ealing, due to launch in late 2019, and operate seven days a week between 06:00 and 01:00. Details at TfL Demand Re- sponsive Bus Trial (Ealing). For both the Sutton and Ealing re- search trials, collecting feedback from users as well as non-users will continue throughout the respective 12 month trial periods.

This article originally appeared in the September 2019 newsletter (#37). All newsletters are available here.

‘Driverless cars: on a road to nowhere’

We are very pleased to announce that Christian Wolmar will be joining us once again at a special event on Friday 9th February 2018.

Driverless cars: on a road to nowhere’ is the title of Christian’s latest book, and Christian will be speaking about this from 6pm at The Gallery, 75 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6EL. The venue is close to Farringdon station.

If you would like to attend the event, and join the discussion, it would be useful if you could let Chris Barker, Secretary of the London Group, know as places are limited. Full details, including how to contact Chris, are provided in the flyer below (which is also available as a pdf here).

Flyer for Christian Wolmar event 'Driverless cars: on a road to nowhere'



TfL and DfT partnership for a joined-up London rail network

A week after the publication of the Centre for London’s report Turning south London Orange: reforming rail to support growth, the secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced a new approach to the delivery of rail services in London and the south east.

In an announcement on 21 January 2016, the Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL) set out a commitment to improve capacity and service levels across the region’s rail network. Essentially, the DfT and TfL will work together to create a more joined-up London rail network with more frequent services and increased capacity.

The proposals are set out in a prospectus to accompany a consultation (open until 18 March 2016). Details are provided at: A new approach to rail passenger services in London and the south east.

v1: 7.02.2016

Reforming suburban rail

On the 14 January 2016, the Centre for London published a new report “Turning south London Orange: reforming suburban rail to support London’s next wave of growth”.

The press release read: “South London’s transport network is over-crowed and congested. By 2025, the population is set to grow by 270,000 and the pressure on rail services will intensify. The solution? Upgrade south London’s rail network into the Overground, by devolving rail services to Transport for London”.

Details can be found at the Centre for London’s website in Turning south London Orange: Reforming Suburban Rail to support London’s next wave of growth, where you can also download the the report.

v1: 7.02.2016

An update on the 2050 London Infrastructure Plan

The Mayor launched a three-month consultation on his 2050 London Infrastructure Plan on 30th July. The Plan is the first attempt to set out the full range of infrastructure requirements for the capital over the next half century, during which time the population of London is forecast to increase by thirty seven per cent to more than 11 million people.

Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport, will present an update on the plan’s progress to the London Group of the Campaign for Better Transport at City Hall on Wednesday, 22nd October at 4pm.

If you would like to attend, please let us know in advance. Full details of how to do this are provided on the attached poster.