TfL ‘is unable’ to support a 109-year-old North London bus route – so it will end soon
After 109 years, the 84 bus route will make its final journey between Barnet in North London and Potters Bar in Hertfordshire this Friday, April 1. Despite weeks of negotiations between bus operators Hertfordshire County Council and Transport for London (TfL), the latter has now confirmed it is ‘unable’ to provide an alternative route, meaning that the historical link will end. The non-TfL bus route is commercially run by Metroline, which is waiving it due to falling passenger numbers since the coronavirus pandemic began two years ago. He says the route is “no longer sustainable”.
Hertfordshire County Council has agreed to fund a partial replacement from April 2, which will be operated by Sullivan Buses, but only between St Albans and Potters Bar – the part of the route outside London. For the section between Potters Bar and New Barnet, which crosses London and provides a link through the borough of Barnet, no solution has been found.
This means there will be no direct bus connection between Potters Bar and Barnet, with passengers having to change between buses at Cockfosters or Hadley Wood instead, taking more than double the time (around 35 minutes instead of 15). Although TfL has no legal obligation to provide a replacement, TfL has historically stepped in to cover non-TfL trade routes in London when they are abandoned. Lines T fL 375 (Romford-Passingford Bridge), 498 (Romford-Brentwood) and W19 (Walthamstow-Ilford) were all born under similar circumstances.
READ MORE:London buses: The last remaining old bendybuses are set to disappear but could make a comeback according to TfL boss
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However, this time TfL has confirmed to MyLondon that its current poor financial situation, including a £1.9billion funding shortfall, means there is no chance it can come to the rescue. short term. A TfL spokesperson said: “The 84 bus route, which has always served mainly places in Hertfordshire, has long been part of the Hertfordshire County Council bus network. Given our current financial situation, which due to the pandemic has resulted in a reliance on government operational funding, we are unable to support costs previously covered by the board.
“A number of alternative options, such as the higher frequency bus routes 298 and 307, remain unchanged – alongside direct rail service between Potters Bar and New Barnet stations. We will continue to monitor travel patterns and demand, and the flexible nature of the bus network means that it can make adaptations at relatively short notice to reflect changing demand, should it arise.
The last journey on the affected Potters Bar-Barnet section will depart New Barnet station at 10.05pm on Friday evening and arrive in St Albans town center at 11.02pm. An online petition calling for the route to be fully reinstated has garnered over 7,000 signatures and continues to do so.
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