Council officials are pursuing negotiations to reinstate part of a bus route in Potters Bar, which ended last month due to funding cuts.
We wrote to Transport for London (TfL), who operate the 298 route from Arnos Grove Station to Potters Bar, to see if there were any opportunities for continuing the popular service between Potters Bar train station and the Cranborne Road Industrial Estate. According to TfL, around 800 trips were being made a day by passengers – up 11 per cent since 2011 – between the train station and the industrial estate before the service ended on Friday 11 November.
TfL consulted on plans to reduce the route, which operated Monday to Friday, due to funding cuts by Hertfordshire County Council last year and announced in September it was going ahead with the change. After negotiations ended with TfL earlier this year, our officers began approaching bus operators to see if they might want to operate the route.
Christine Lyons, Head of Planning and Economic Development, said: “The usage figures suggest that this section of the route is highly popular, and as a borough council, we are very supportive of all forms of sustainable transport.
“Though this was a decision made by other public bodies, we’re keen to see if the borough council can facilitate any progress on this issue. We have offered funding assistance, but it was decided this wasn’t feasible, based on the information provided by TfL.
“Cranborne Industrial Estate is the main area of employment in Potters Bar and so it’s vital to keep it well-connected with other parts of the town. We’re keen to hear from any bus operators who think they might be able to help.
"This represents a good business opportunity, but would also be of huge benefit to residents and people who work in the town.”
Another TfL service, the 242, operates between the train station and the industrial estate, once in the morning and once in the evening, and is unlikely to be sufficient to meet the needs of the local community. Alternative buses are also available on non-TfL routes.
A statement on the TfL website reads: “From Monday 13 November 2017 we're changing route 298, which runs between Arnos Grove and Potters Bar.
“This permanent change means that Route 298 will no longer serve the section of route between Potters Bar station and Cranborne Road industrial estate. This section previously operated Monday to Friday daytimes.
“Route 298 now starts and finishes at Potters Bar station at all times. This change is because of a reduction in funding for TfL bus services by Hertfordshire County Council, due to budget pressures. We consulted on this in 2016.”
Posted on Friday 1st December 2017