Petition calls for a better bus link
HUNDREDS of travel-weary bus users in Hampstead, Highgate and Muswell Hill have signed a petition calling for a direct, regular service linking the areas
HUNDREDS of travel-weary bus users in Hampstead, Highgate and Muswell Hill have signed a petition calling for a direct, regular service linking the areas.
Elderly people who frequently travel to the Royal Free Hospital and mums picking up children from school are among the 225 people who have signed the petition.
Transport for London (TfL) introduced the 603 route between Hampstead and Muswell Hill four years ago. But it runs just twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon from Monday to Friday. Bus users want the service to run regularly throughout the week.
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Bus Watch West Haringey, which represents bus users in Crouch End, Muswell Hill and Hornsey, sent the petition to TfL.
Secretary Chris Barker, 70, from Redston Road, Muswell Hill, said: "We campaigned for the 603 bus for years. It was introduced in 2004 to transport schoolchildren from Muswell Hill who attend private schools in Hampstead or Highgate.
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"Now lots of people use it, especially the elderly. It's a connection which is extremely useful but it's infrequent and impractical for people trying to get to the Royal Free because it does not go past the hospital.
"This vital east-west link would definitely help the large number of people who have to get to the Royal Free because the journey at the moment requires at least two changes."
Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone was also one of the people who campaigned for the route's introduction.
She said: "It has become clear that people want and need a full service on the 603. Just how much evidence does TfL need before they take this on board?
"The recent so-called consultation on the 603 was shambolic and I have written to TfL demanding a re-consultation, and for residents' views to be taken seriously. This is an issue I will not give up on. The fight goes on."
A TfL spokesman said the issue was being investigated but gave away no details.
He said: "Route 603, a school bus route, was introduced in January 2004 in response to local demand. There are two return journeys in the morning peak between Muswell Hill to Swiss Cottage and two return journeys after school.
"We have received the petition and are continuing to work with the local borough councils and passenger groups to better understand their local bus needs."