Where’s My Bus? Ask Brent Pupils

London students demand TFL take action against ongoing bus issues.

By Phoebe, 14, Duniya, 15, and Charlie, 15, London · October 2, 2019

Students at Capital City Academy in Willesden have expressed concern about the local TFL bus service, which they claim is regularly making them late for school. 

They have claimed that buses don’t come often enough, and that capacity for buses which do run is too small.

With the support of media literacy charity The Student View, pupils reached out to TFL to ask action be taken.

Pic: Unsplash / Anjana Menon

Demand levels surveyed 

In response, in February 2019, a TFL spokesperson said, “We regularly speak with councils and stakeholders to ensure any concerns about our bus services are addressed. When we did a survey last year we found that bus capacity met the level of demand in the area around Capital City Academy in Willesden during peak school hours. 

After being contacted in relation to children having difficulty boarding the bus, we will commission another survey to check the level of service is appropriate and will continue to monitor the situation to ensure services are as efficient as possible.”

Unmanageable levels

However, six months later, in August 2019, when an update on this survey and the situation as a whole was requested, TFL declined the opportunity to respond. 

Students claim that buses such the 206, which passes Newman Catholic College, Convent and Capital City Academy on its route, is not regular enough to serve the 3,000 students these schools serve. They argue that only 5 buses running between 7.29 and 8.29am is insufficient, and that the number of bus service users increases to unmanageable levels. 

They add that local students are not the only ones affected, stating that often, members of the general public cannot board a bus until local school students are at school. As a solution, students have suggested that further services will be added at this time of time, and then more of the buses on this route be made double-decker, not single-decker. 

TFL declined to comment further on this issue.

Why did students cover this story?

“I personally take the bus most mornings to school, however the days I don’t take the bus is because of the amount of people of the people on the bus I am forced to walk making me late for school in most cases.”