New bus service replacing 84 to run between High Barnet and Potters Bar from September

The 84B route will be operated by Galleon Travel on Mondays to Saturdays from September 4th if funding is confirmed reports David Floyd

The 84 bus service (credit Wikicommons/Au Morandarte)
The 84 bus service formerly operated by Metroline (credit Wikicommons/Au Morandarte)

A new bus route has been announced to replace a previously discontinued service between Potters Bar and High Barnet subject to confirmation of funding.

Hertsmere Borough Council is holding an Extraordinary General Meeting of its cabinet on August 23rd to consider “an urgent recommendation” to fund the service. If this is approved, route 84B will run from Mondays to Saturday from September 4th.

It replaces the Potters Bar to High Barnet part of the 84 bus route, which was cut in 2022 after previous operator Metrolink claimed it was not sustainable. Sullivan Buses now operates the 84 bus on the remainder of its former route between Potters Bar and St Albans. 

The provider of the new service is Galleon Travel, which was awarded an initial 12-month contract after a competitive tendering process coordinated by Hertfordshire County Council. Galleon describes itself as “the best in our field at providing luxury coach hire in Essex, Hertfordshire, London, UK and Europe.”

A spokeperson for Hertsmere Borough Council, which originally announced its intention to support the service in June following May’s local elections, told Barnet Post: “An Extraordinary General Meeting of the council’s cabinet is being convened on 23rd August.  This will consider an urgent recommendation, in line with a key commitment made by our partnership administration, to allocate developer ‘Community Infrastructure Levy’ funding to enable the reintroduction of a critical transport link between Potters Bar and Barnet.   

“The 84B bus route would run from Potters Bar station to Barnet General Hospital and be an invaluable link for hospital users and visitors, schoolchildren, local businesses and residents. If agreed, the route would start from Monday 4th September and fuller details of the route and timetable will be published in due course.

“The funding would be for an initial period after which the route will need to be self-sustaining. We have also approached the London Borough of Barnet and Transport for London regarding funding.”  

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire Council Council confirmed their role in the process explaining: “Hertfordshire County Council has assisted Hertsmere Borough Council with the extension of the 84 bus service from Potters Bar to Barnet, by procuring the service under our contract arrangements. That contract is for 12 months.

“The county council already funds the in-county part of the 84 route, between Potters Bar and St Albans. We will monitor the use of the service by Hertfordshire residents to assess next steps at the end of the 12 month period so an informed decision can be reached about supporting our residents travel. 

“We hope the investment made by Hertsmere Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council in to the 84 bus route will demonstrate that the service is well used and can continue as a commercial operation after the 12 month contract ends.”

Villiers: bus return is “a big step closer”

The move was welcomed by Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers who has been campaigning for the service to be restored. She told Barnet Post: “This is really welcome news. It looks like the return of the 84 bus to Barnet has moved a big step closer. I know how important this service is to many of my constituents. So I have been campaigning hard for its return.

“I have been lobbying Hertsmere and Herts councils and TfL on this. There is still more work to be done to ensure the sustainability of the route and I will keep up the campaign to secure the long term future of the service.”

The new service was also praised by Barnet Council’s cabinet member for environment and climate change Alan Schneiderman. He said: “Residents have welcomed news that the 84B will start running in September. This will show the level of demand for this reinstated service.”

At this point it seems unlikely that the new route will received additional backing from Transport for London.

A TfL spokesperson told Barnet Post that: “Following Metroline’s decision to cease the operation of route 84 commercially, we assessed whether TfL could take over the running of the route. None of the options for replacing the route between Barnet and Potters Bar had a good financial case and so we are not in a position to take on costs of running a replacement.

“However, there are existing TfL bus links via Cat Hill changing between routes 307 and 298 to reach destinations in Barnet, including Barnet Hospital, from the Potters Bar area. We will continue to keep travel patterns and demand under review and the flexible nature of the bus network means it can make frequency adaptations at relatively short notice to reflect changing demand where required.”

This post was updated at 6pm on August 15th following additional information and comments being received. It was further updated at 11.20 on August 16th following further comments being received.

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