Campaign to save 84 bus route gains speed

Red 84 bus in Potters Bar station, Hertfordshire

The petition gained more than 1,500 signatures in 24 hours. - Credit: Aubrey Morandarte

Residents have expressed their anger and fond memories of a bus service after the "devastating" news that Metroline intends to cut its 84 bus route, which runs from St Albans to New Barnet.

Potters Bar local Simon Tshulak, 32, set up a petition to oppose the measures. The petition gained more than 1,500 signatures in under 24 hours. Simon believes that cancelling the service would be devastating for the local community, especially older residents who use the Potters Bar Community Hospital. 

"There hasn’t been any proper consultation and if Metroline axe this popular route the results would be extremely disappointing. This petition is to get Metroline to reconsider axing the route and to save one of the key routes connecting Potters Bar," he said.

From nostalgia to necessity, reasons to keep the 84 service chugging on poured in on social media.

One petition signator, Sarah Jane Deacon, said: "I rely on the 84 to get to work every day. Also, I met my lovely fiance on this bus!"

St Albans resident Viera Loffler, 77, is partially sighted. She has been using the 84 service for years so that she can go shopping at Sainsbury’s and M&S in London Colney.

Her nearest Moorfields Eye hospital is in Potters Bar - on the bus route - and her partner, who is 92, uses the 84 and 313 buses to enjoy daytime jazz at the Botany Bay Club in Enfield. 

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"We try to do things as opposed to just sitting at home. For that we need buses," Viera said.

Carol Brown wants to save the 84 because she was nearly born on it. In January 1971, her parents travelled from Potters Bar to Barnet to go to natal appointments. Two weeks before Carol was due, they were returning from an appointment when her mum started having "twinges".  

Two stops later she got off the bus at Barnet Maternity Hospital and Carol was born 20 minutes later. Her dad missed the birth as he was still on the bus heading home to get the hospital bag.

"Since then, every time we see the 84 bus someone would say ‘there’s where you were almost born’! It’s been a constant reminder all my life," Carol said.

Sign the petition here.