Hundreds sign petition to save 366 bus route from Luton to Welwyn Garden City

"It's affected people in lots of ways that the bus company didn't realise."
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Hundreds of people have signed a petition to save a bus route connecting Luton and Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire, after it was reduced to school pick-up times.

Anne Howie, 70, from Wheathampstead, started a Change petition to have the full 366 Centrebus route reinstated to serve the towns and villages. She says people across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire are being impacted by the cutbacks.

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Anne said: "It stopped last year, quite suddenly and it inconvenienced a lot of people."


Currently, the 366 runs services at school drop-off and pick-up times, with no service on Saturdays, Sundays, or bank holidays. On the petition, Anne explained: “The loss of the 366 bus service has affected many adversely: people who are unable to drive, students, workers: both young and old. It served a semi-rural area where the alternatives are less sustainable or more expensive.”

Centrebus said the “small amount of passengers made the route unsustainable”.

Managing director of Centrebus, David Brookes, said: “The 366 timetable was reduced some time ago due to low usage. The route simply wasn’t covering its operating costs. We retained the essential peak journeys so those using the bus for work and school still had access to public transport, but, unfortunately, there were too many trips throughout the day that carried a very small number of passengers, which made the route unsustainable.

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“We’re looking at potential timetable options to enhance current service levels but any increase in frequency would require third party financial support and at the moment there is no guarantee this will be available.”

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council said: “We’re aware of the petition to increase trips on the 366 bus service. The 366 service is a commercial service run by Centrebus and, unfortunately, they have decided it is not commercially viable to run and we do not have funding allocated to support it.

“We are always looking at improvements to services but currently there is no decision to change the current 366 service trips.”

Anne said that scores of people are now struggling to get to appointments in London, without being able to get on the buses, which line up with the train line. For shoppers wanting to get The Mall in Luton, or Welwyn’s John Lewis department store are left to drive there themselves.

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Anne added: "It's affected people in lots of ways that the bus company didn't realise."

One of the 261 people who signed the petition said: “We need buses that link rural communities to major towns and services. Without them more of us are isolated and there will be yet more cars on the roads.”

While another added: “It’s important that we protect the environment and support public transport. The climate is changing and the planet is at risk. It’s a saving on carbon emissions for people to travel by bus. We, in the village of Wheathampstead, desperately need this route as do schoolchildren.”

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