County council reassures Potters Bar bus users after service cuts

A Metroline bus

A Metroline bus - Credit: Archant

Bus users in Potters Bar have been reassured by the borough council that services in the town are unlikely to face further funding cuts.

A member of the public expressed his concern to Hertsmere borough councillors in a full council meeting on Wednesday, February 27.

Addressing environment and transport portfolio holder Seamus Quilty, Mr C Gray cited the loss of the 298 bus service between the Cranborne Industrial Estate and Darkes Lane, and the reduction of service on the section of the 242 bus service between Potters Bar and Cuffley.

Cllr Quilty said: “The funding of bus services is dealt with by Herts County Council.

“Officers have spoken to the county council who have advised they are not planning any changes to funding which would impact on services.”

Mr Gray emphasised the importance of bus services as a cheap means of public transport for residents who do not drive.

He said: “The 398 bus service which runs between Potters Bar and Borehamwood only runs until eight in the evening.

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“As a member of the public who does not drive I am only able to attend a full council meeting by spending £15 to get home in a cab.

“I can only conclude that democracy in action in Hertsmere only works for those of us who can afford it.”

Herts County Council explained there were no plans to further reduce services.

Speaking about the 298 service, a council spokeswoman said: “The service was cut back to Potters Bar station from November 2017 but since then only minor adjustments have been made to the timetable (last April) to improve reliability.

“This service is operated under contract to TfL and the council does not contribute to its costs.”

Metroline, which runs the 242 service, said: “The timetable for Route 242 was reduced in scope in February 2018. The service between Cuffley and Potters Bar was reduced to peak hours only, with two trips around lunchtime for crew change purposes and to provide a limited shopping service.

“The reductions reflected low passenger loadings, and as Herts County Council were unable to support any extra daytime trips, Metroline took the decision to concentrate resources on the section of route where reasonable numbers of passengers do travel.”