Herts County Council to provide long-term funding to bus routes

PUBLISHED: 15:55 28 January 2019

A bus stop in Grove Road, Hitchin. Picture: Google Maps

A bus stop in Grove Road, Hitchin. Picture: Google Maps

Archant

A bus service linking Hitchin and St Albans is among a number that will receive continued financial support from Hertfordshire County Council.

The 304 service running between the two towns, as well as the 202 service between Ashwell and Ashwell & Morden station, were being supported on a short-term basis but will now be funded long-term.

Back in December, HCC stepped in to support the 304 route – which runs Monday to Friday – after Centrebus decided it could no longer maintain it on a commercial basis.

Centrebus will retain the service and will be adjusting times to improve reliability.

The 202 service has always been supported by the county council, but last November they had to enter into an emergency arrangement with A2B Bus and Coach, after the previous operator surrendered its contract.

A2B will continue to provide the service following a competitive tendering process.

HCC will also continue to fund the W1/2/3/4 running between Kingswood and Watford, too.

Councillor Derrick Ashley – executive member for growth, infrastructure, planning and the economy at HCC – said: “We know that people depend on these services for access to work, education, shops, personal services and social events so we are pleased to be in a position to be able to reassure them that they will continue to operate.

“However, some commercial services across the county generate little or no real profit so we could be called on to support them at any time, putting more stress on budgets.

“The best advice we can give is to secure the future of your local bus service by using it whenever possible.”

Between Hitchin and St Albans, route 304 calls at St Ippolyts, St Paul’s Walden, Whitwell, Kimpton, Blackmore End, Wheathampstead and Sandridge – generally every two hours.

The 202 route runs between Ashwell’s West End, the centre of the village and Ashwell & Morden railway station from Monday to Friday during rush hour.

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