Transport for London's proposals to shorten bus routes 53, 171 and 172 have been dubbed "an attack on working classes" by some, with a councillor saying the changes should be opposed.

The plans are part of proposals to scale back bus services all over the capital from March 2019, as bus usage drops in central London.

Under the proposals, route 53 would be cut back to run from Plumstead to County Hall.

Route 171 from Catford bus garage and Brockley to Holborn would be cut back to terminate at Elephant and Castle.

And route 172 from Brockley Rise faces being trimmed back from Clerkenwell to Aldwych.

Commenting on the proposals on Twitter, poet and journalist Bridget Minamore wrote that the cuts were "an attack on the working classes and I’m not accepting any different. How many people who can afford the (more expensive) overground or train instead choose to sit on a bus for 70 minutes."

Journalist Dawn Foster tweeted routes 171 and 172 were "lifelines" and that she "couldn't have gotten to work without them if I also wanted to eat."

Another Twitter user wrote: "53 is one of the most important routes in London. Packed at all times of the night and day. If anything, you need more buses. Do TfL do any research?"

Lewisham Council cabinet member for parks, neighbourhoods and transport Cllr Brenda Dacres said the proposals - first mentioned on the 853 blog - should be opposed. 

“These proposals are very concerning. For many of our residents travel by bus is the only affordable means by which they can get to work, their place of study, to visit family and generally get around London," she said.

"Also, at a time when we are encouraging more of our residents to use public transport, I find reducing bus routes and increasing the number of interchanges goes against the grain of what we are trying to achieve.

“We will be submitting a formal response to these proposals when the consultation opens, however, I’m clear that in putting the welfare of our residents first, these changes should and must be opposed.”

But TfL public transport service planning director Geoff Hobbs said London's bus system needed to be modernised and simplified to ensure bus capacity was in the right places.

He said TfL was planning for increased bus coverage in outer London.

"As set out in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, we’re currently looking at how we can adjust and reorganise the bus network to ensure it reflects a rapidly changing London, including planning for year-on-year increases in bus kilometres in outer London.

“We’re currently working closely with London’s boroughs on a potential set of proposals and they are helping shape our plans. These changes will also be subject to full public consultation before they’re put in place so we can hear from customers.”