Croydon and Sutton GLA member Steve O'Connell calls for change on bus signage
12:00am Sunday 12th August 2012 in Where I Live
A senior politician is calling for an end to the prison bus.
Steve O'Connell, London Assembly member for Sutton and Croydon, doesn't want to see "Belmont Prisons" on the front of the number 80 bus any longer and plans to lobby the mayor of London Boris Johnson.
Mr O'Connell said: "It's demeaning to the people on the bus. Not everybody is going to visit the prisons, the vast majority are just going home but they happen to live on that bus route. It's not fair on them."
The bus, which runs between Highdown and Downview Prisons in Belmont to Reynolds Close in Hackbridge, is a popular route but Mr O'Connell believes customers are being deterred from using it due to the stigma.
He said: "I'm sure people are put off from getting on it when it says Prison on the front of it, I know some of them are embarrassed about using it."
Mr O'Connell has proposed a change to the signing system to remove its negative connotations.
He said: "I am going to be speaking to the mayor about this and hopefully we can get something done."
The greater London assembly hold Boris Johnson to account on a variety of issues including policing and transport.
Peter Geiringer, Conservative councillor for Belmont, said: "This casts a shadow over Belmont when the prisons are not even in Belmont, they are in Reigate and Banstead. It's outrageous and factually incorrect."
A spokesperson for Transport for London said: "Having received and listened to a number of requests to change the destination sign for the route 80 bus, we are currently working on a suitable alternative. We will confirm the introduction date of the new signage in due course."