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307 bus route to finally stop in hospital after eight-year campaign by Enfield Over-50s Forum
A bus service will finally stop in the grounds of Barnet Hospital from Saturday after a long-running campaign by patient groups.
The 307 bus between Barnet and Enfield will stop inside the hospital, rather than nearby, in a bid to improve transport links before the downgrade of Chase Farm Hospital in September next year.
Enfield Over-50s Forum, backed by Enfield and Haringey London Assembly Member Joanne McCartney, started the campaign more than eight years ago and Transport for London (TfL) agreed to the move in 2010, but have taken until now to make the change.
Forum chairman Monty Meth said: “This has been a long campaign waged for some eight years in the main by the Over-50s Forum – and others – to get easier public transport access to local hospitals.
“It has always seemed odd to us that TfL are required to provide public transport to rail stations and shopping centres – but not hospitals, although with an ageing population the need has never been more urgent.
“We are still campaigning for improved access from the Oakwood area to Chase Farm, and from the Winchmore Hill and Southgate area to the North Middlesex Hospital, but to succeed we need the support of local NHS bosses and Enfield Council.”
The change has been mooted since 2008, when an independent panel of experts identified serious problems with public transport links to the hospital, but has been delayed by efforts to enlarge the bus stop outside Barnet Hospital.
TfL said last year that extending the 318 bus through Winchmore Hill before Chase Farm loses accident and emergency and maternity services was not cost-effective, but the body is open to ideas if it receives extra funding.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has said that he expects the hospital reorganisation to be accompanied by improvements to transport links, but he has not given TfL specific instructions of what he wants it to do.