Passengers left stranded by scrapping of bus service between Redbourn and Harpenden
PUBLISHED: 12:08 21 April 2015
A sudden change to a bus service connecting Redbourn and Harpenden has left villagers cut off with many pensioners and disabled people stranded.
The 657 Uno bus service, which runs between Redbourn and Hatfield via Harpenden, was slashed just before Easter, leaving many passengers puzzled.
Retired William Hewison, 69, of Gertrude Peake Place care home in Redbourn, said: “There was no announcement before it happened and we just found out about it from the bus timetable.
“There used to be 20 odd buses a day and now there is only a 657 bus at 7.51am going to Harpenden, or a new Red Eagle 307 service at 9.17am, 12.17pm and 2.17pm.
“People who work in Harpenden or school kids who stay late for school activities now can’t get home as there is now only a bus at 4.07pm and not one again until 11.39pm.”
The changes mean that people now have to travel via St Albans on the 321 bus and take the number 34 to get home to Redbourn, which forces them to pay for two bus fares.
William went on: “There are lots of elderly and disabled people in Redbourn who don’t have a car.
“Normally if there is a bus change there is some information about it.
“I worked in the bus industry for a long, long time and the bus company used to have to go to the Traffic Commission who would look at the frequency of the route and how many people use it, which doesn’t seem to have been done here.”
Flamstead resident Lorna Barwell said: “Those who have to get to work early in the day will have to travel over 10 miles via St Albans instead of three miles from Redbourn to Harpenden.
“Is it possible to have anyone who thinks and realises that we need buses early, am, and latish, pm, to get to work?”
James Thorpe, managing director of Uno Buses, said: “Following a review of our 657 bus service at the end of March, parts of the route that were lightly used and not commercially viable were reduced allowing us to focus on the busier sustainable parts of the network.
“Information about these changes was provided on our buses, on our website and our Twitter page.”
He added that the route would be “monitored closely in the forthcoming months” and customers are advised to visit the website www.unobus.info for more information.