Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners are calling on the Government to urgently step in and work with the London Mayor to fund and reinstate the popular GoSutton bus to the borough.
The call comes after Transport for London (TfL) effectively axed the service in June 2020 after a year long trial. Sutton Liberal Democrats had successfully lobbied for the trial to be extended earlier this year following the popularity of the scheme with local residents.
Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council said:
"Our borough is poorly served by public transport and has not received its fair share of investment over the years to tackle this. The GoSutton bus has been a big success with over 81,000 total journeys made since its launch last May, and for many local people with limited mobility, sight impairment and learning disabilities it has been a god-send.
"Since last autumn, Liberal Democrat councillors and residents have been lobbying the Mayor of London and TfL to make this a permanent service. In fact I spoke to the Deputy Mayor for Transport recently and made it clear that Sutton urgently needs more public transport investment. The GoSutton bus would be an easy quick win.
Now that the Sutton tram has been ditched for the foreseeable future, the Government urgently needs to step in and work with the London Mayor to fund an on-demand bus service for Sutton that covers the whole borough and extends to other transport interchanges like Worcester Park station, Morden Underground and East Croydon station. It really is needed more than ever before.”
Sutton Lib Dems record of action on Go Sutton - A Timeline
Spring 2019 - Lib Dem run Sutton Council accepts offer to host the ‘Go Sutton’ bus trial following meetings with TfL and the bus operator.
May 2019 - Cllr Manuel Abellan, Sutton’s lead member on Transport, launches the trial with the Deputy Mayor for Transport Heidi Alexander.
October 2019 - The Sutton Lib Dems launch a campaign calling on the London Mayor to make the ‘Go Sutton’ bus permanent.
October 2019 - Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, writes to the London Mayor asking him to work with us to deliver a permanent ‘Go Sutton’ bus service.
November 2019 - Tom Brake MP calls on local residents to sign the Sutton Lib Dem petition calling on the London Mayor to make the ‘Go Sutton’ bus permanent.
November 2019 - Tom Brake MP launches his General Election 7 step Transport Plan including calling for a permanent ‘Go Sutton Bus’.
November 2019 - Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, makes the case for a permanent ‘Go Sutton’ bus service directly to Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport.
February 2019 - Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, writes to Michael Hurwitz Director of Transport Innovation at Transport for London asking for an extension and to discuss options for a permanent scheme.
February 2020 - Cllr Manuel Abellan, Sutton’s lead member on Transport makes the case for a permanent ‘Go Sutton’ service in a meeting with Mike Brown, TfL Commissioner.
February 2020 - TfL’s engagement officer contacts Cllr Manuel Abellan and Cllr Whitehead on the phone and confirms that they are exploring an extension of the service but that this is not yet official and contractual discussions are still ongoing.
July 2020 - Cllr Ruth Dombey urges the Deputy Mayor for Transport to reinstate the GoSutton bus and fund a permanent on-demand bus service.
Cllr Dombey, Cllr Manuel Abellan and Cllr Whitehead met with the bus operator Viavan quarterly to monitor progress and discuss a potential permanent ‘Go Sutton’ service