Transport for London has been asked to reconsider and reverse a planned cut in the frequency of the 384 bus route from 15 minutes to 20 minutes, and the removal of the extra bus serving the JCOSS school run in New Barnet.
Barnet's Labour councillors have launched a petition which supports the Mayor of London’s drive to reduce air pollution near schools, but says that is at odds with TfL running down a popular bus service. The petition has already obtained over 240 signatures.
The 384 is used by parents and children travelling to and from JCOSS and other local schools, commuters connecting with the tube at High Barnet and Cockfosters and the train at New Barnet, and shoppers visiting The Spires in Barnet High Street and Sainsbury’s in New Barnet.
TfL has told residents who have complained about the cut from July 22 this year that a review found that ‘existing capacity is underused’, and added that ‘we aren't obliged to issue a consultation for changes to the operation of the network (only on structural changes).’ The reduced frequency will operate between 10pm and 4pm but JCOSS is due to end the school day earlier at 3.30pm from September so will still be affected.
According to a JCOSS survey, 35 per cent of its pupils travel to and from the school by public transport and any cut will only force more to use private cars or coaches.
East Barnet Labour councillor Phil Cohen said: "Many residents also use the bus to travel to and from Barnet Hospital for health and medical reasons. It is a key orbital route and has been operating at the current frequency for many years, so why change it?"
Jo Cooper, a Labour candidate in East Barnet for next May’s local elections said the 384 is popular and essential as it spans a route not covered by other services. "As an occupational therapist I do a lot of visits in this area and the cuts in the bus route will be a big loss to elderly and disabled people as well as schoolchildren and shoppers."
The campaign is supported by Andrew Dismore, London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden.
You can sign the petition here: http://www.barnetlabour.org.uk/384bus
Text of the petition:
Stop the cuts to the 384 bus route!
We support better public transport in the capital and the Mayor's campaign to combat air pollution caused by car usage near schools. For that reason we call on Transport for London to reconsider and reverse a planned cut in the frequency of the 384 bus route from 15 minutes to 20 minutes, and the removal of the extra bus serving the JCOSS school run. The 384 is a popular route serving residents of Cockfosters, East Barnet, New Barnet and High Barnet, and is an important transport link to Barnet Hospital, JCOSS and other local schools, New Barnet and High Barnet stations.
For more information contact email@example.com
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568