Hertfordshire Evening /Sunday Bus Cuts From Sept 2015 Effecting UH Students

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Many of you will have read my previous threads on the subject - that Hertfordshire County Council ( HCC ) who underwrite and fund many of the later weekday evenings (i.e. from 19.30 onwards) and Sunday bus services, which includes some Bank Holiday services as outside London these normally run to a Sunday timetable that the likes of UNO and Arriva are contracted to run , have voted through some pretty severe funding support cuts to these services from this Sept.

Some news I have- a bit of good- is that the evening 301 ( Stevenage- Welwyn - Hatfield- St. Albans- Hemel Hempstead and return) a service well used by students which was on the hit list to be cut, will now be continued on a trial commercial basis by Arriva who run the commercial day time service. Currently UNO are contracted by HCC to run the non commercial weekday evenings. Exactly what frequency or format it will take I`m not sure of at present but this will be known soon.

The UH/UNO are funding a couple of evening Hatfield- Watford 602 Mon-Sat services from Hatfield at 19.20 and 21.20 with attendant return workings from Watford. As it stood under the proposed cuts the last weekday UNO 602 all the way through to Watford would have been as early as around 18.00 from Hatfield rail station, The Forum, & de Hav although one redeeming factor is that this service will work back from Watford as a service bus arriving Hatfield Business Park around 21.40-22.00.

The last Sunday evening UNO 602 from Hatfield Rail station will be at 19.09, the second one that ran at 21.00 will be cut. So with the Sunday evening UNO 607 being cut back to last bus 18.35 from the rail station, other than the 301, times and frequency to be confirmed, most likely only every two hours, that`s your lot.

There will also an additional later evening Mon- Fri UNO 636 at 20.20 UH term time only from Hatfield rail station - Harpenden- Luton returning at 21.25 to Hatfield, via The Forum & de Hav to compensate for the withdrawal of the two evening 101`s that ran from the campuses to Luton and return via Stevenage. Arriva will continue to run the North Herts evening section of the route commercially.

Most- but not all- presumably these will be added once times are finalised - timetable and route change information has been published on HCC`s travel website www.intalink.org.uk ,also The East Of England Traffic Commissioner Notices And Proceedings site is worth a look at. Although this is linked in on The Gov.uk website I found it quicker just to Google in the title.

Also of interest is www.hertsdirect.org/busconsult

Don`t forget that UNO do a special £1 fare anywhere in Hatfield for UH students & staff (single journey) which you can buy on production of your UH ID to the driver when boarding the bus. The exact limits of this fare are Welwyn Garden City bus / rail station / Howard Centre: Welham Green just south of Hatfield :The Howell / roundabout near Essendon en route to Hertford: and Smallfords ( Nottcut`s Garden Centre / Three Horseshoes Pub about halfway from Hatfield to St Albans).

As many of you will have noticed the front and side of Hatfield rail station is one big building site: I understand the new bus/taxi interchange being worked on outside the station will now drag on possibly until December, "due to unforeseen circumstances". Originally scheduled for June, which itself is at least two dates later than first intended.

And if you wondered why the station platforms are staggered, we have Queen Victoria to thank for that as on her frequent private visits to Hatfield House she and her entourage didn't wish to be overlooked by the public !

I understand the new 700 series train sets due to come on stream soon ready for the through London link due to open in 2017-18, ( meaning it will be possible to travel directly from and to Hatfield from the likes of East Croydon and London Bridge without change, in addition to the new CrossRail being constructed which will have an easy interchange at Farringdon) will stop once again by the footbridge/lift, instead of the far end of the northbound platform as they do now which was a safety move introduced around three years ago, to defray issues with eight coach trains stopping short of the platform at the four coach marker, which I gather almost happened. On the down side, I hear that seating capacity on the new trains is to be reduced, and will be similar to what you have on the London Overground trains.

Since I first wrote the above, UNO have published a list of their service cuts/route amendments and timetables on their website www.unobus.info news/updates. I suggest you take a look while the old and new timetables run along side together to see how the changes concern you.

Take a look also at www.save-our-buses.org.uk/

Any comments?

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