New usage survey to support campaign for bus route to Finchley Memorial Hospital

This Is Local London: Finchley Memorial Hospital in Granville Road, Finchley. Finchley Memorial Hospital in Granville Road, Finchley.

A survey detailing the usage of Finchley Memorial Hospital will be used to support a long-standing campaign for a new bus service.

Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer, who has been fighting for better transport to the hospital, said the new survey will take place over the next few months.

Currently the nearest bus stop to the hospital in Granville Road is nearly 250m away, making it difficult for some elderly and disabled people to walk to there.

Mr Freer said: “One of the major issues when considering bus services has been the unknown usage to and from the hospital, particularly while the site isn’t fully occupied.

“However, following the anticipated merger between Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust and Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust, new clinics are expected at Finchley Memorial Hospital.

“What’s more, the probable relocation of three GP surgeries into Finchley Memorial hospital will increase usage further still. This increased occupancy of the site will strengthen the business case for a regular bus service.”

Mr Freer said he has secured an agreement with the Deputy Mayor for Transport Isabel Dedring that TFL will work with Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group and London Borough of Barnet to undertake the detailed usage survey.

Meanwhile, The Finchley Society and the Friends of Finchley Memorial Hospital have already carried out their own survey asking patients how they travel to the hospital in Granville Road, and whether they would benefit from a bus route which takes them directly to the entrance.

But TfL remains firm in its belief that a new bus route is not possible at this time.

John Barry, head of network development for TfL, said: “The hospital grounds are not currently suitable for a public bus service as there is no bus stop area, and parking and drop-off spaces would need to be removed.”

He said that diverting route 382 would cost £120,000 each year and result in longer journey times for approximately 1,500 passengers every day.

He added: “Forecasts show that a much smaller number of people would use the diverted service to access the hospital. Given that healthcare services at this site are planned to increase we will continue to liaise with key stakeholders and will keep the decision under review.  

"However, at this time we are not able to support this request.”

Comments (1)

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4:05pm Mon 7 Apr 14

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

I think in the interests of balance you should report that Andrew Dismore has in fact been raising this at the GLA, to no avail, and similarly with TFL. A couple of weeks ago TFL again rejected the idea of the bus, claiming that it would cost £120K a year. Funny how the deputy Mayor is prepared to talk to a Tory politician, isn't it?

I wrote to Mr Barry to ask him to explain his costings for £120K. He has failed to respond. I then submitted a Freedom of Information request for this and other information because clearly we have a right to know the facts, including whether or not they have factored in the increased revenue from passengers travelling to and from the hospital.

The issue of the bus is urgent, and of vital importance. Instead of playing politics with the matter, TFL and the Mayor should be doing what ought to have been done before the hospital opened, and made sure there was adequate provision for public transport for those residents who have no other way of getting there.
I think in the interests of balance you should report that Andrew Dismore has in fact been raising this at the GLA, to no avail, and similarly with TFL. A couple of weeks ago TFL again rejected the idea of the bus, claiming that it would cost £120K a year. Funny how the deputy Mayor is prepared to talk to a Tory politician, isn't it? I wrote to Mr Barry to ask him to explain his costings for £120K. He has failed to respond. I then submitted a Freedom of Information request for this and other information because clearly we have a right to know the facts, including whether or not they have factored in the increased revenue from passengers travelling to and from the hospital. The issue of the bus is urgent, and of vital importance. Instead of playing politics with the matter, TFL and the Mayor should be doing what ought to have been done before the hospital opened, and made sure there was adequate provision for public transport for those residents who have no other way of getting there. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
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