Give us a bus link to city’

PUBLISHED: 13:05 07 December 2006 | UPDATED: 14:55 12 May 2010

A PENSIONER has called for a bus service from Buntingford to London to be reintroduced. Chris Woods, 88, of Hare Street Road, is disappointed that he can not visit London as often as he would like because Buntingford does not have access to a railway stat

A PENSIONER has called for a bus service from Buntingford to London to be reintroduced.

Chris Woods, 88, of Hare Street Road, is disappointed that he can not visit London as often as he would like because Buntingford does not have access to a railway station or a bus service which goes via the town to London.

Mr Woods, who was born in Buntingford, voiced his concerns at a meeting of the town council last Thursday.

He said: "We have to go to railway stations in Royston or surrounding areas if we want to travel to the city, but there is always difficulty parking, and with increased parking charges it makes it very expensive.

"I used to drive to London regularly, but as you get older it becomes difficult."

Mr Woods said he hoped the local authority would work with a bus company to arrange a service to a bus station such as Royston or Baldock.

Alternatively he would like to see a varied public transport link from Buntingford to London introduced.

He said: "In 1896 residents only had to walk to the railway station, and even though the closure of the station had a major impact on the town in 1964, a regular bus service was introduced and ran for some years."

There is currently a bus service run by Richmond's Coaches which goes from Barley-Royston-Baldock-Stevenage-London.

Councillor Stan Bull said: "Surely it wouldn't take much for the bus to come into Buntingford."

Councillor Jon Ling agreed.

He said: "Some years ago we had buses running to London every two hours, and my family used them regularly.

"It was an experiment that worked, but they went back to the old service.

"It might be worth seeing if this service can be reinstated."

Rick Ellis, manager of Richmond's Coaches said: "We have done it before but there weren't enough people to justify running the service.

"If there were a minimum of 30 people interested in a transport link to London we would consider it because we will look at every commercial avenue.

"But commuter services are a case of cost verses time."

Councillor Pat Whittaker agreed and questioned whether the service would be worthwhile.

He said: "Things have changed. Everyone's got cars nowadays, even youngsters.

"And with privatisation everything companies do is at a profit."

A Herts County Council spokesman said: "We have no plans to set up a service at this time.

"The main issue is whether or not it could be economically viable.

"The county council has never run such a service, although there was a commercially-run service from Cambridge to London Victoria via Buntingford some years ago.

"We try to avoid duplication and would need to justify running a service that would be the same as one already running.

"There is however a 331 bus service from Buntingford to Ware railway station which would then take you into London by train."

Buntingford Town Council will be writing to Herts County Council to raise any concerns expressed.

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