Victory for Hatfield bus passengers over cuts

PUBLISHED: 10:05 10 September 2011




CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after keeping a regular bus route serving Hatfield Garden Village.

The 607 bus route was due to replace the 608/609 route from Parkhouse Court/Salisbury Village to the Garden Village, but the 607 would only run to 7pm, as part of cost-cutting measures.

But after a concerted fight and petition signed by MP Grant Shapps and Welwyn Hatfield Council Labour leader Kieran Thorpe, the services are to be not only kept, but improved.

The petition, which attracted 88 signatories from both residents and University of Hertfordshire students, said: “Whilst we expect there would be changes as a result of the budget cuts, we believe cutting and reducing these services as proposed is ill advised.

“The impact of these changes will not only affect the residents of Parkhouse Court/Salisbury Village and Garden Village but commuters that park at the Hatfield station and residents of the neighbouring streets around Hatfield station.

“These proposals are in conflict with the global efforts to reduce global warming and carbon footprints.

Campaigner Peter Ellingworth said: “We’ve managed to turn the tables.”

Mr Ellingworth also said there was no room for complacency and urged people to continue to support the route.

He added: “We’ve got a good thing on our doorstep, let’s use it.”

Michael Finn, general manger of Uno, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “The 607 is the Hatfield local service, which we run on behalf of the county council.

“They [the council] were under pressure to make economies, but in the event they’ve obviously monitored the new service to make sure it is servicing the peak periods.

“Thanks to pressure from residents and student groups we’ve managed to introduce an evening service seven-days-a-week and a Sunday service until midnight.”

He added: “We’ve improved our peak services contrary to what is going on in most parts of the country it’s good news.”

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