Future of bus route hangs in the balance as consultation ends

A London bus. Picture: André Langlois

The 497 bus route - which currently runs between Harold Wood Station to Harold Hill - is at risk, with a consultation now open to decide its future. - Credit: André Langlois

A consultation to decide the future of the 497 bus route has ended.  

Bus route 497 was initially introduced in January 2020 and its route runs between Harold Wood Station to Harold Hill and Gooshays Drive via Gallows Corner Tesco. 

Transport for London’s (TfL) consultation to determine its fate ran between September 6 until October 17.  

More than 350 people responded to the consultation, which presented two different proposals: extend the route from its current last stop at Gooshays Drive to Dagnam Park Square, or withdraw it.  

TfL’s director of public transport planning, Geoff Hobbs, said buses are the most “widely used form of public transport in London”, adding they are “always reviewing routes to make sure they are delivering the best service possible”.  

He added: “The pandemic has significantly impacted Londoners’ travel habits and route 497, launched just before the first outbreak, has seen lower passenger numbers than initially projected.  

“Our consultation, presenting two very different proposals, sought to better understand how customers use this service and what future demand will look like.  

“We thank all those who shared their thoughts on these two proposals and we will now carefully consider all this feedback.” 

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The consultation report is expected to be published “this winter”, according to TfL.  

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