Redbourn mum marks village's public transport 'very poor' after son's bus to school is axed
PUBLISHED: 19:00 19 September 2018
Children living in Redbourn have been left without a means of getting to school after their bus service was cancelled.
Delphine Ioannou says her 16-year-old son was waiting for the 657 bus to go to the first day of term at St George’s School in Harpenden, when a bus driver stopped and told him the 657 had been cancelled. According to bus company Uno’s website, the 657 does not serve Redbourn as of August 26.
Delphine, of Bettespol Meadows, said: “They did not really tell us in advance. They did not even put up a sign at the bus stop.
“The only way my son can get home is walking down the Nickey Line, which is very isolated and he does not always walk with other people. Sometimes there is a cyclist or someone walking a dog, but it’s not lit and come the winter, it’s going to be very dark.
“We rely on public transport and people are encouraged to use it, yet the actual service around Redbourn is very poor: They do not turn up or they are late. I feel there is not enough public transport in Redbourn.”
Delphine knows of several other, younger children who have been affected by this change. Her and the other parents have been supporting each other with lifts, but worry this is not a long-term fix.
When she contacted Uno’s customer officer David Love, he told her the decision had been made on a commercial basis.
Managing director of Uno Buses James Thorpe said: “From the end of August we combined our 657 and 658 services and started the new route at Harpenden. We reduced the route because of the low numbers of people using the extension to Redbourn, which meant the route was no longer commercially viable, as it isn’t subsidised by council funding.
“However, the Sunday extensions to Redbourn, which are funded by the council, continue to operate as normal.
“It’s unfortunate to hear of the inconvenience to passengers. However we notified passengers of the change three weeks prior, with notices on buses and on our website.”
In July, the Herts Advertiser reported that the 34/35 Centrebus service, which also serves Redbourn, had been cut back because St Albans council and Herts county council had cut their subsidies for the bus route.