St Albans to London 712 bus service to be revived

THE 712 bus service from St Albans to London will return to the streets on Monday (March 28) albeit in a different guise.

Uno’s pink and purple buses will replace Arriva’s Green Line service, which will run from Hatfield through St Albans and on into central London. The launch is in response to the public support which emerged for Arriva’s beleaguered 712 service when the bus giant announced it was withdrawing the Green Line service.

Arriva cited a lack of uptake as the main reason behind the cancellation of the service though many criticised the marketing behind the service.

During its last few months, a group of passengers led by Matthew Jackson-Hale launched a campaign to save the beleaguered bus service, but despite several meetings with Arriva and a significant improvement in the numbers using it, Arriva said it was not financially viable.

Matthew said: “We are really pleased that Uno listened to all the public support that was voiced after Arriva announced the demise of the 712 in October last year. This service provides a valuable and cost effective alternative to the train for commuters to the tube or day-trippers. The coaches will pick up from all the stops on its way out of St Albans, along Holywell Hill and Watford Road through Chiswell Green on its way to the M1.

“Everyone understands that Uno need to get sufficient passenger numbers to make the service viable and we are happy to help spread the word. The limited number of journeys on the timetable won’t help promote flexibility but with the support of the public this can be developed.”

Jim Thorpe, managing director of Uno, said that the new service was launched in response to a vigorous and long running campaign in the Herts Advertiser to reinstate a convenient and affordable bus link to Central London from the St Albans area.

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He said: “We are planning to operate the service for a trial period but I am confident that, with our ability to integrate the service with our extensive network of local bus services in and around St Albans along with the provision of new link from Central London to the University’s College Lane campus at Hatfield, we can secure the long term future of the service.

“The new London service is one of a number of initiatives that Uno are bringing to the St Albans area in conjunction with Network St Albans including an exciting rebranding of the local bus network and the introduction of two new ‘hybrid’ buses later in the year with ultra low emissions.”

A peak return fare will cost �10 and �6 off peak. Customers holding a City Rover ticket can purchase an off peak return for only �4. Uno will also launch the 714 on Monday which will run from Hatfield into London.