The 166 bus that runs between Epsom Hospital and West Croydon is safe, after Surrey County Council offered to part-fund the service.

Transport for London was preparing to launch a consultation examining the possibility of ending the route, but faced opposition from residents who rely on the bus to get to and from the hospital.

Epsom and Ewell MP and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “I’m really pleased about the decision. It’s a vital route for both hospital users and local residents, and I’m pleased the council and TfL are going to work together to keep the route running.”

Surrey County Council will be paying about £130,000 a year towards keeping the 166 and the 216, which runs between Kingston and Ashford Hospital, running.

Surrey CC Cabinet Member for Transport Mike Goodman said: “There’s a vital need to fund these services in Surrey to help people get to and from hospital; it’s what our communities rightly expect us to do.

“We know just how important these buses are to people's daily lives, which is why we’ve worked with TfL to invest the money that ensures they continue to run, whether that’s to help people go for a medical appointment, get to school or do shopping.”

Claire Mann, TfL’s director of bus operations, said: “We welcome Surrey County Council's offer to part-fund these services, and are very happy to work with them to continue running these important hospital routes.”