Islington PlusBus could be saved after Boris Johnson U-turn

A CRUCIAL bus for the elderly and disabled that was to be axed has been handed a lifeline after a U-turn by the Mayor of London.

The number 812 PlusBus, which was to be scrapped in June, could be saved after Boris Johnson finally agreed on Monday to make Transport for London pay for the service.

Users of the Peel Centre, an older people’s day centre in Percy Circus, King’s Cross, had campaigned for the bus, which is a vital link to the outside world for many people.

Mr Johnson said: “It would be a travesty for it to be lost. I have ensured the funding to keep this vital service on the road for another two years.” He had previously rejected pleas from Islington Council to step in after TfL refused to allow a �2.5million pot of money set aside for transport services in the borough to be used to pay the route’s �140,000 cost.

But the future of the PlusBus is still under threat due to the conditions laid down in the Mayor’s offer. The money will only be handed over if the council pledges to fund the service itself from 2013 and to maintain the same frequency of buses.

Islington Council has yet to agree to the offer, but Councillor Paul Smith, the executive member for environment, said: “We are very happy Boris has caved in – this is a great victory for PlusBus users and for Islington Council who lobbied strongly on their behalf.”