Potters Bar bus route to Borehamwood to lose Saturday service

Potters Bar station, Darkes Lane, Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOO

Potters Bar station, Darkes Lane, Potters Bar. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

The 398 bus route, which runs between Potters Bar and Borehamwood, will lose its Saturday service – and the weekday off-peak service will be reduced from hourly to every three hours next month.

The changes will come into operation on Saturday, February 15, making journeys to Borehamwood, where the Civic Centre is, increasingly difficult.

Cllr Chris Myers, Labour councillor for Potters Bar Furzefield, said: "The 398 route is absolutely vital for many people already and it's a slap in the face to the regular users of the service and seems to me grossly negligent.

"Operators around the country have found that the more buses there are on a route the better used it becomes - Herts County Council's lack of subsidy is failing our residents."

However, there are some winners as the people of South Mimms Village and Clare Hall will now be served by the remaining services.

Fellow ward councillor Christian Gray added: "We should be supporting local businesses to help provide good transport links, not cutting them to the bone.

"Given that both Hertsmere and Hertfordshire County Council have both declared a climate emergency, not supporting this service seems to fly in the face of that."

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A spokesman for Sullivan Buses said: "The 398 Saturday service has never been viable since the route started in 2002. Herts County Council supported the Saturday journeys until 2015 when they removed support due to low passenger numbers.

"Since then we have tried to run the route on a Saturday but the three or four journeys in each direction are used by only a handful of passengers.

"Similarly the Monday to Friday off-peak service has never been very busy, with several journeys running empty.

"It was reduced to two hourly but we pushed it back up to hourly 18 months ago to try and boost passenger numbers - although total passenger numbers have actually increased the off peak service remains unprofitable in the absence of any financial support.

"The off-peak journeys that remain are timed to provide morning and afternoon shopping and leisure opportunities and will be improved by restoring daytime journeys through South Mimms village.

"Only minor alterations have been made to the Monday to Friday peak hour service which continues to provide a regular service between the two towns."