New company looks set to revive 712 St Albans to London bus service

THE 712 Green Line service may have come to an all too abrupt end in January but bus company Uno is very close to finalising a scheme to replace the service.

Once the plans are finalised, a replacement 712 service could be in operation as early as March 28 and it is hoped that the commuter service will pick up exactly where the 712 left off.

General manager of Uno, Michael Finn said he was still waiting to finalise some of the details, particularly regarding concessionary fares, but he was hoping to get the green light any day soon.

Much of the plans for the replacement service have been agreed but Uno is now waiting for Transport for London to confirm that the service can run, although Michael says he cannot foresee any problem with getting the go ahead.

Once up and running the service, which will retain the ‘712’ given to it by Arriva which ran the Green Line service, will depart from The Forum in Hatfield and run into London Victoria.

Michael said: “We couldn’t fail to recognise the publicity generated in the Herts Advertiser and it’s really thanks to all that the paper and campaigners did that we decided to get the service up and running.”

The ‘Save the 712’ campaigners await the official confirmation, which is expected at the end of this week, with bated breath. Just a few weeks ago, the campaigners and the Herts Ad were approached by an independent bus company, Optimumbus, who said they’d be willing to start up a commuter service but lead campaigner Matthew Jackson-Hale said he wasn’t sure the offer was flexible enough to meet the needs of commuters.

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Arriva cancelled the 712 service into London stating that the service had failed to take up the numbers they’d anticipated though many people across the district said the service had been the victim of a weak publicity campaign. Just weeks before the 712 ran its final trip, the bus was so full that those who had campaigned and vowed to put “bums on seats” were unable to get on the very bus they were trying to save as all the seats were taken.