People who live in the farthest reaches of Chessington and Malden Rushett struggle to get to Kingston Hospital and other health services by public transport, particularly buses, councillors have said.

That includes Epsom and St Helier hospitals, used by about 10 percent of Kingston residents who need in or outpatient care.

The problem particularly affects the elderly, and is even worse for anyone who needs to visit Springfield Hospital, a journey that requires a train ride to Earlsfield followed by a 20-minute walk.

Transport for London [TfL] said any changes it might make to its buses would have to take account of potential changes to health provision in the region - the south-west London collaborative commissioning review, formerly Better Services, Better Value.

A TfL official told councillors on Kingston Council's health scrutiny panel: "It is simply not possible to run a direct bus link for every journey so effective interchange are essential to achieving a comprehensive network.

"Interchange opportunities will be taken into account in service design.

"In particular, good interchange facilities in town centres are important given that town centres form the hubs of the current bus network.

"By running reliable high frequency services interchanging between buses is easier as passengers can be confident of an easy and convenient connection."


  • K1: Serves Tolworth Hospital via Kingston or New Malden, but not Chessington
  • K2: Serves Kingston Hospital, but stops in Hook
  • K4: Serves Kingston Hospital from western Hook and Chessington
  • 467: Connects Chessington to Epsom, but just one per day runs directly to and from the hospital

For many south-of-the-borough residents, a journey to Kingston Hospital or Surbiton Health Centre means changing buses in Tolworth, Surbiton or Kingston, and possibly an added cost.

Chessington and Hook councillor Margaret Thompson said she had visited Derby to see a joint-venture circular bus route, which costs the same amount to use as car parking and is funded by the council, health service and others.

She said: "It's enormously popular and successful, and pays for itself.

"Maybe it's a problem we need to think about in a different way. Does it have to be a TfL bus?"