Installing bus lanes in Barnet High Street between the junction with Meadway and the parish church is one of the projects which Transport for London hopes to complete by March 2025.
Two other schemes being proposed are bus lanes on the High Road (A1000) through North Finchley and Whetstone and a bus lane on Cat Hill in East Barnet.
TfL is currently in the process of installing new bus lanes on major roads in and around South London and has started consultations with London boroughs such as Barnet Council about schemes to be undertaken during the 2024-25 financial year.
In line with government’s funding settlement, TfL’s target is to create 25km of new bus lanes by March 31, 2025, and the first 10km are due to have been installed by the spring of this year.
A campaign against the installation of these “unwanted bus lanes” has been launched by the Chipping Barnet Conservative MP Theresa Villiers (see above) and the Barnet Vale Conservative Barnet Council David Longstaff.
They say the introduction of bus lanes on Whetstone High Road and Barnet High Street will lead to significant traffic congestion and harm local businesses by the removal of on-street parking.
A petition launched by Ms Villiers has already attracted over 2,000 signatures.
She accuses Barnet’s Labour controlled council and Sadiq Khan, the Labour Mayor of London, of disregarding the views of local residents and failing to meet their needs by planning to spend £1.6 million on disruptive bus lanes rather than repairing potholes.
So far TfL’s website gives no indication that the A1000, Barnet High Street and Cat Hill are included in the projects to be delivered in 2024-25.
All that is said officially is that TfL’s officers began discussions on future schemes with the London boroughs in November 2022 and once they had been concluded staff would move into the design stage.
Because of the lack of publicly available data, Ms Villiers submitted a Freedom of Information request to Barnet Council and the council’s reply revealed there are 14 schemes proposed by TfL proposed within the borough for new bus and cycle lanes.
Bus lanes, A1000 Barnet High Street, Wood Street to Meadway, extent and details to be determined, 2024-25
Bus lanes, A1000 High Road (Whetstone and North Finchley) between St Margaret’s Avenue and Ravensdale Avenue, extent and details to be determined, 2024-25
Bus lane, Cat Hill, extent and details to be determined, 2024-25.
Bus lane, Ballards Lane, approach to North Finchley, extent and details to be determined, 2024-25
While not giving any details itself, TfL says that is assessing suitable sites for bus lanes to be delivered between now and March 2025.
Local conditions will be examined, such as lane widths, and the aim will be to deliver value for many. TfL is targeting locations with a high volume of bus passengers and those where speeds have noticeably declined.
TfL hopes to make bus journey times ten per cent quicker than they were in 2015 and research has shown that a 1 per cent improvement in journey times leads to a 0.6 per cent increase in demand.
By mid-December TfL had delivered 2.8 km of new bus lanes out of the 10 km due for delivery by the spring of 2024.
Among the schemes currently being installed are new bus lanes on Brighton Road, Croydon; Bromley Road, Lewisham; the New Kent Road and Stamford Hill.