Campaign to save St Albans’ 712 bus service reaches boiling point
- Credit: Archant
A user of the ailing 712 bus route claims dozens of residents will not be able to get to work if the service is suspended, as they cannot compete with rising rail fares.
With just shy of a week to go before the service is discontinued on October 4, desperate campaigners have stepped up the fight to save the “cost effective” service and pencilled in a meeting with Uno bosses to discuss its future.
Over 60 signatures have been collected on a petition and a dedicated email address has also been set up to show support for the alternative London transport route, which passengers praise as a “nice way to go to work”.
Bus regular Nick Churton said of the impending closure: “This leaves St Albans with no lower-cost public transport alternative than the costly and crowded train.
“The closure of this service will mean some may even be unable to afford the cost of travel in future.
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“St Albans partly grew up and gained its status and wealth because it became a bedroom community for London workers.
“For some it will soon become too costly to get out of bed.”
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Fiona Couper, who is leading the revived campaign, said: “Since the article in the Herts Advertiser the bus has been packed – so much so that UNO had to lay on a double-decker the other night.
“The power of a bit of advertising! Think what a proper campaign could achieve for this service, and for UNO.”
Michael Finn, general manager at Uno, previously told the Herts Advertiser the service’s failings lay with a low number of concessionary reimbursements and poor usage, particularly coming back from London.
But Linda Rogers said she uses the 2.50pm bus from London regularly to get home to Chiswell Green.
She added: “I realise that I have a concessionary buss pass and do not pay for my travel but would be willing to pay something to the cost to keep this service running.”
With so much support and users offering to pay more money if it means keeping the service afloat, many bus commuters are wondering why the route has to be scrapped.
The meeting on September 30 will see Green Party Councillor Simon Grover and several bus users join Mr Finn to discuss the next move for the service.