Commuters give bus services the red light


Ongoing roadworks have left Wimbledon commuters stranded


By Maria Coyle, Joe Curtis, Rupert Hawksley, Jenny Jones and Dan Munden

Wimbledon commuters are being left stranded by buses forced to cut their journeys short due to ongoing road works. 

Vital work updating Wimbledon’s gas pipes has resulted in 40 minute delays on Wimbledon Bridge and Alexandra Road.

“The impact on local bus services is severe,” said Lee O’Hallahan, a London General Transport (LGT) traffic controller.

“We’re seeing huge delays in rush hour that make the old cliché ring true: you don’t see a bus for ages, then three turn up at once.”

Mr O’Hallahan revealed complaints had risen sevenfold and added this meant more than half their buses are forced to abandon their planned route and return to base.

This means any passengers who cannot transfer onto another bus are left stranded. 

“I don’t even bother to look at the timetables anymore,” said Jenn Phillips, who commutes to and from work on the 200 route.

“I have to put up with it because it’s my only way home.” 

The delays have also disturbed the timekeeping of Wimbledon schools. 

Raynes Park High School’s bursar, Sue Thurlow, said up to 100 pupils arrived half an hour late in one day. 

“In October we prefer to have consistency and better punctuality,” said Ms Thurlow, who has had to resort to alternative travel arrangements herself. 

“Our students and staff aren’t to blame, and we can’t expect them to get up two hours earlier as a result of poor bus service.” 

She added: “Even though road works are contributing to the problem, LGT aren’t doing enough to support us.”

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