Bus users have been celebrating a victory for people power after transport bosses decided not to axe the crucial K5 bus route because of a "clear public need".

The K5, which travels between Ham and Kingston before continuing to Morden, was set to be stopped in its tracks on July 1 because it is no longer profitable.

But after public consultation and pressure from travellers' groups, Transport for London (TfL) has agreed to keep it running.

About 200 people attended a public meeting in Kingston's Tudor Hall on March 9 to voice their enthusiasm to keep the bus which runs through residential areas of Kingston such as Canbury Avenue.

A petition was also handed to TfL.

Richard Shirley from TfL wrote to councillors and London Assembly members on Thursday, saying: "As a publicly-funded body, we need to demonstrate effective use of public resources.

"Although this part of the K5 does not meet our usual criteria, the response to consultation has demonstrated a clear public need."

Tony Arbour, Kingston's member of the London Assembly, said: "I very much welcome this extremely good news for the residents of North Kingston and Ham.

"It demonstrates that when a community gets together to make a well argued case, Transport for London does pay attention. I hope that TfL does not make such unpopular proposals in future."

The K9 and K10 bus routes going south have also been threatened with the chop, but no decision has yet been reached over them.

Kingston councillor for the Tudor ward David Cunningham said of the K5 victory: "I think it is tremendous.

"It is great credit to all the people who were involved the council officers made a very good case to TfL, but mostly it is credit to the public. Their response was tremendous. It proves that if people really want something like that, even TfL in the end listen."