Politicians are calling on the Mayor of London to reverse the decision to cut the RV1 bus service in half.
The service has been cut from six buses an hour to just three as of last Saturday, February 10.
The RV1 is a zero-emissions bus route as it uses a fleet of hydrogen-powered buses which connect Covent Garden, the London Eye, South Bank, Tate Modern, the Globe, Borough Market, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.
It was introduced in 2002 and has had temporary diversions in place since 2016.
Cathedrals ward Liberal Democrat councillors David Noakes, Adele Morris and Maria Linforth-Hall have written to TfL to demand that the plans are halted to allow residents to have their say.
They said the diversions were “bound to have reduced the number of users this year but users will return when the full service does” and that residents were not asked their opinion before the plans went ahead.
Borough resident Victor Chamberlain, Liberal Democrat candidate for Borough and Bankside, has also launched a petition which will be handed to Caroline Pidgeon, deputy chair of London Assembly Transport Committee, and presented to Mayor Sadiq Khan next month.
“It’s outrageous that the service has been halved without anyone even asking our opinion,” he said.
“When we need to cut air pollution it just doesn’t make sense to cut a zero emissions bus.”
Southwark Council leader Peter John said he was “angry” to hear the news, and described the proposal as “unacceptable”.
“Come on @TfL – don’t make changes to the RV1 bus service when you’ve had the service on diversion for 2 years,” he said on Twitter. “A hard-fought for bus service should not be axed at this time.”
Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon added: “Before the Mayoral election Sadiq Khan promised that “as the son of a bus driver” he would be the champion of our buses.
“Under his mayoralty, London bus services are getting worse and the loss of the RV1 is just the latest cut he has implemented.
“The Mayor needs to listen to the needs of local communities and tourists and reverse his cuts.”
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The Mayor is working hard to improve bus services across the capital by modernising the network, cleaning up the fleet, making it more affordable through the Hopper fare and making sure services are where they are needed the most.
“TfL found that significantly fewer people have been using route RV1, as they increasingly walk and cycle and take alternative forms of public transport, and as a result have reduced the frequency to meet that change in demand. These changes will be monitored carefully and reviewed in six months to assess if the level of service needs to be restored.”
The petition to Save the RV1 can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/savetherv1