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Affordable way to Commute to Herts from London

What's the most affordable way to commute to herts specifically College Lane campus from London? The train from King's Cross to Hatfield would cost be £17.90 a day on its own without the cost of the commute to Todd Building or from my local station to King's Cross.

I've heard of the route from Queensbury and from there take the Uno bus to uni but that's nearly £15 as well, (Assuming the Uno buses are still £6 for the whole day)
But I've checked TFL journey planner and it says 'Alternative routes, Avoiding Zone 1 via Stratford and West Hampstead (or Finchley Road & Frognal/Finchley Road)' sorry if this is dumb but what does this mean, as in how do I avoid those stations if I have to go past them? Thanks in advance lol
Reply 1
Original post by Anonymous
What's the most affordable way to commute to herts specifically College Lane campus from London? The train from King's Cross to Hatfield would cost be £17.90 a day on its own without the cost of the commute to Todd Building or from my local station to King's Cross.

I've heard of the route from Queensbury and from there take the Uno bus to uni but that's nearly £15 as well, (Assuming the Uno buses are still £6 for the whole day)
But I've checked TFL journey planner and it says 'Alternative routes, Avoiding Zone 1 via Stratford and West Hampstead (or Finchley Road & Frognal/Finchley Road)' sorry if this is dumb but what does this mean, as in how do I avoid those stations if I have to go past them? Thanks in advance lol

Hello,
Unfortunately no really easy cheap way around this- the TfL PAYG Oyster is only valid to Potters Bar on the King`s Cross- Hatfield- Welwyn Garden City -Stevenage Line, Borehamwood and Radlett on the St. Pancras- St. Albans-Luton-Bedford line. Hadley Wood & Borehamwood are where London zone 6 finishes : from there on National Rail fares apply. There have been moves over the years to extend the TfL/Oyster zone 6 to Potters Bar/Welwyn Garden City and St Albans but so far without avail. Normal contactless payment is valid at Hatfield and St. Albans however, and for a single fare in my experience normally works out cheaper than a paper ticket.
TfL PAYG Oyster has been extended to Hertford East and North stations.

Regarding the TfL `alternative routes` If my memory is correct, this means by travelling via/through these stations so you avoid crossing into zone 1 and therefore the extra cost- I did look at this when going from Hatfield to Romford recently, but in the end as I wanted to visit friends in zone 1-2 as well bought a One-Day Travelcard, itself discounted with a railcard.
UNO run the 614 from Queensbury Underground to Hatfield Station and return, with a peak hour 644 variation via Borehamwood then straight up the A1 to the UH campuses, whereas the 614 travels via Barnet The Spires rejoining the A1 at the M25 South Mimms interchange.
If coming from East London an alternative could be the Underground to Cockfosters, then the UNO 610 which has been extended from Potters Bar ( but subject to delays.) Another alternative but a bit protracted is to Hertford North or East, then the 724 Harlow-Heathrow Greenline limited stop bus from there.The UNO 341/641 travels via Hertford but not directly, all buses serving the dH campus but only some the College Lane one.

Regarding the fares, the Government sponsored £2 any single bus journey outside London has now been extended until the end of 2024. I believe, but will check it out, this also applies on the 614/44 from Queensbury (Oyster cards except Zip Oyster cards are not valid).
Unfortunately the limited stop Green Line 716 bus, which UNO took on for a while, that ran from Victoria to Stevenage calling at Finchley Rd. and the two UH campuses was stopped a few years ago as part of the cuts.

This is the Hertfordshire County Council`s own travel site you may find of use https://www.intalink.org.uk
https://www.unobus.info is the UNO site.

Hope this helps, don`t hesitate to ask if you have any more queries .

Finally, I think this still applies (the UH folk reading this can correct me if wrong) is that if you bank with Santander while a student ( caveats attached of course!) they will give you a free student/under 25 railcard for four years which will be a great help in reducing the costs.

.

. .
(edited 4 months ago)
Students outside, University of Hertfordshire
University of Hertfordshire
Hatfield
Visit website
Reply 2
Original post by Anonymous
What's the most affordable way to commute to herts specifically College Lane campus from London? The train from King's Cross to Hatfield would cost be £17.90 a day on its own without the cost of the commute to Todd Building or from my local station to King's Cross.

I've heard of the route from Queensbury and from there take the Uno bus to uni but that's nearly £15 as well, (Assuming the Uno buses are still £6 for the whole day)
But I've checked TFL journey planner and it says 'Alternative routes, Avoiding Zone 1 via Stratford and West Hampstead (or Finchley Road & Frognal/Finchley Road)' sorry if this is dumb but what does this mean, as in how do I avoid those stations if I have to go past them? Thanks in advance lol

Is that with of without a national rail card? Make sure you get one, assuming you are a student and are entitled to one.
Reply 3
Original post by UnclePete
Hello,
Unfortunately no really easy cheap way around this- the TfL PAYG Oyster is only valid to Potters Bar on the King`s Cross- Hatfield- Welwyn Garden City -Stevenage Line, Borehamwood and Radlett on the St. Pancras- St. Albans-Luton-Bedford line. Hadley Wood & Borehamwood are where London zone 6 finishes : from there on National Rail fares apply. There have been moves over the years to extend the TfL/Oyster zone 6 to Potters Bar/Welwyn Garden City and St Albans/Luton but so far without avail. Normal contactless payment is valid at Hatfield and St. Albans however, and for a single fare in my experience normally works out cheaper than a paper ticket.
TfL PAYG Oyster has been extended to Hertford East and North stations.

Regarding the TfL `alternative routes` If my memory is correct, this means by travelling via/through these stations so you avoid crossing into zone 1 and therefore the extra cost- I did look at this when going from Hatfield to Romford recently, but in the end as I wanted to visit friends in Hackney as well bought a soon to be ended (thanks a million Mr. Khan) one-day Travelcard, discounted with a railcard.
UNO run the 614 from Queensbury Underground to Hatfield Station and return, with a peak hour 644 variation via Borehamwood then straight up the A1 to the UH campuses whereas the 614 travels via Barnet The Spires rejoining the A1 at the M25 South Mimms interchange.
If coming from East London an alternative could be the Underground to Cockfosters, then the UNO 610 which has been extended from Potters Bar ( but subject to delays.) Another alternative but a bit protracted is to Hertford North or East, then the 724 Harlow-Heathrow Greenline limited stop bus from there.The UNO 341/641 travels via Hertford but not directly, all buses serving the dH campus but only some the College Lane one.

Regarding the fares, the Government sponsored £2 single bus journey outside London still applies until the end of Oct, thence on it will be £2.50p until the end of 2024. I believe, but will check it out, this also applies on the 614/44 from Queensbury (Oyster cards except Zip cards are no longer).

Incidentally, for those travelling from Luton, Bedfordshire Council have agreed after the 50p rise in Nov to continue to underwrite the extra 50p on the £2 fare, while Hertfordshire will be at £2.50p I`ve been told today..So from Nov 1st. Luton to the UH at £2, back at £2.50p.
Unfortunately the limited stop Green Line 716 bus, which UNO took on for a while, that ran from Victoria to Stevenage calling at Finchley Rd. and the two UH campuses was stopped a few years ago as part of the cuts.

This is the Hertfordshire County Council`s own travel site you may find of use https://www.intalink.org.uk
https://www.unobus.info is the UNO site.

Hope this helps, don`t hesitate to ask if you have any more queries .

Finally, I think this still applies (the UH folk reading this can correct me if wrong) is that if you bank with Santander while a student ( caveats attached of course!) they will give you a free student/under 25 railcard for four years which will be a great help in reducing the costs.

.

. .

Thank you so so much for the detailed response, this is very helpful, will defo keep this in mind!! So many routes i had no clue about, this will definitely help i appreciate it!
Reply 4
Original post by lalexm
Is that with of without a national rail card? Make sure you get one, assuming you are a student and are entitled to one.

Oh yes my bad this is without a national rail card, I've been meaning to get one so that will probably reduce costs too, thanks a lot!!
Reply 5
Original post by Anonymous
Thank you so so much for the detailed response, this is very helpful, will defo keep this in mind!! So many routes i had no clue about, this will definitely help i appreciate it!


No probs! I checked on the Santander site and yes, they still offer a four year rail card free of charge if you bank with them as a student. The UH /UHSU normally explain this as part of their introductory. There used to be a swish flagship Santander banking office in the Hutton Hub but unfortunately no more, obviously part of the move to cut costs and get it all online.

There is plenty of info.online or paper booklets around regarding the railcards. Only today a very polite and pleasant young man from Azerbaijan, recently started as a UH student, asked me at Hatfield station to talk him through getting a ticket from one of the machines there. I gave him one of the railcard booklets from the rack explaining how he could keep his costs down and found the cheapest option for him.
My own railcard I buy online for three years at £70, which works out at just a bit more than £23 year which is soon recouped.
TfL also have a 18 plus student Oystercard, which in addition you can load up your 16-25 or 26-30 railcard to giving if I'm right, 34% reduction on fares (although in peak hours 04.30-09.59 a minimum fare of £12 applies Mon- Fris excluding Public Holidays or during July & August) plenty of info on the TfL site).
https://www.railcard.co.uk

From Cockfosters you also have the TfL 298 to Potters Bar station, and the TfL 313 from Chingford Mount also runs to Potters Bar station via Enfield.
TfL Oyster cards are valid on these two bus services to Potters Bar. They are not, however, valid on the newly reinstated after much outcry when it was cut last year, 84B from Barnet Underground to Potters Bar station and return as this service comes under the jurisdiction of Hertsmere and Hertfordshire Councils funding support not TfL, whereas the 298 and 313 still do.

If I may be as imprudent to ask, where in London are you travelling from?
I am no stranger to the UH, having worked there many years ago as a Senior Technical Officer in the former Industrial Engineering & Manufacturing Systems School of Engineering, for at that time there was a dedicated building where the Forum now is, studying to HNC level part timewhile there.
I belong both to the Alumni Association and Friends of the UH Society, the latter which is open to former members of staff.

For those of you from the likes of TfL land please remember unlike London, just about all stops in Herts are request ( look up on the bus stop flags and it states on the bottom in black & white "Signal clearly for bus to stop". So put out your hand. If not, some drivers will give you the benefit of the doubt, others won't. And also have your student cards ready to show as soon as you board, this saves delays and helps the service keep to time. I saw once a student board our bus at de Hav, furraging around in her luggage for a few minutes to try and find her student card, then decided it wasn't the bus she wanted after all ! Most people pay cashless now, but for those that don't try to have or near to the correct change, and not keep presenting £20 notes for one small change fare as the drivers are not mobile bank managers!
I understand some overseas students newly started at the UH are having issues with their overseas bank cards not as yet registering, so cash can also be used once again in the UH shops.

And as said earlier regarding the £2 any single bus journey in England Government sponsored scheme, this will now be continued to until the end part of 2024.9
For local journeys within Hatfield say with a UNO bus, I suggest checking out on the UNO website which is the cheaper- a UNO student discount fare or the £2 one. Arriva ( 301, 302, 321, 724) did do student discounts- but last time I enquired, on return journeys for their own buses only.
Some of you may be aware of the PlusBus scheme, where for a small add-on to your train fare this wil lgive you local bus travel. https://www.plusbus.info/hatfield

Re. the UNO 610.
As we know there has been a massive ramp up over the last year of students commuting from Luton daily, with even more I hear this year, and UNO have been hard pushed to cope even with providing extra services and hiring in of coaches.
Unfortunately although three axle double decker coaches have been ordered, I'm informed they won't arrive until later in the year or early next. As a precursor to this, UNO have started a limited stop X10 from Luton to and from the UH .

An alternative is either bus (Arriva 321) to St. Albans then another bus on from there.
Or a quicker, frequent but more expensive option, is train to St Albans and then bus (UNO 601 calls in at de Hav only, 602 and 653 both campuses, although the 653 detours around Jersey Farm/ Marshalswick in St Albans first) and the Arriva (sea blue colour with a single white stripe) 301/2 going in the direction of Welwyn Garden or Stevenage, calls at Ellenbrook Lane which is close to the de Hav Sports Village mini -roundabout, then the Comet Hotel at the front of de Hav and the Galleria itself about 8-10 mins walk from the College Lane campus.

As part of the Government funded BSIP, two new routes will commence in November : the 721 Luton to Hemel Hempstead limited stop service every 30 mins via Harpenden and St Albans, and the 725 limited stop hourly Stevenage to Rickmansworth via Knebworth, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, St Albans and Watford. These shoud be of help to UH students. Both services are Mon-Sat only.

Coming the other way from Hatfield station, the 301/2 going towards St. Albans can be used to The Galleria/Comet/Ellenbrook Lane.
The limited stop Greenline 724 can also be used, but it does not stop at the Comet only the Galleria and Ellenbrook Lane.
At Hatfield station going to or near the UH stop 1 is for the Arriva 301/2 & 724, stop 2 for the 341/641, ( note: all the 341/641`s call at de Hav, some peak hour services going direct first to College Lane, then de Hav, others to de Hav first via the Garden Villages/Business Park/Salisbury Village, all go to de Hav but not all to College lane, check out on timetable as this service is somewhat convoluted and runs both clockwise and anti-clockwise), 602/653, & stop 3 for the 614/44 to and from Barnet/Edgeware/Queensbury.

The UNO 614/44 is also the most from the station direct to/from de Hav, taking about 10 mins travelling via the Business Park to de Hav first then The Forum ( and vice versa coming back). The UNO 602 from the station direction of Watford goes direct to UH The Forum, then de Hav, the 653 also direct to UH The Forum but then detours in an anticlockwise circle via Bishops Rise/South Hatfield/ Roberts Way, before meeting its outward path by the Galleria then on to de Hav. And of course again vice versa in the opposite direction.

Incidentally the UNO 602 also travels via South Hatfield/Roberts Way, but only on Sundays/bank holidays not normal weekdays. This is done as the 653 is reduced to hourly on Sundays as is the 602, so by interworking these two routes students (and locals !) still have a 30 minute level of service.
And for some reason the 614 on Sats. only does not call at The Forum but South Hatfield Roberts Way.
(edited 4 months ago)

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