Passengers who use the 84 bus service between New Barnet station and St Albans have launched a petition because of the threatened withdrawal of the route from the Metroline schedule.
Drivers on the 84, which operates out of Metroline's Potters Bar bus station, say they have been told an official announcement is expected soon and they have been warned they should be ready to be assigned to new routes.
Hertfordshire County Council, which provides financial support for the route, says Metroline has "signalled its intention to withdraw the 84 route in its entirety from early April."
In its statement, the council said it was still awaiting an official notice of the cancellation of the service. "We are in discussion with other bus operators to see which elements of the 84 service they could potentially take on commercially".
During the day the 84 provides a vital half hourly service link New Barnet, High Barnet, Hadley Highstone, Potters Bar, South Mimms, London Colney and St Albans.
Passengers who use the route have mounted a concerted campaign on social media sites such as Next Door and launched a petition on change.org:
Regular users of the route through Barnet say it provides a vital service, especially for residents at Hadley Highstone and Monken Hadley and there has been an even greater outcry from people living around London Colney who say they will be stranded without a service to St Albans and Potters.
Many elderly people rely on the 84 to get to appointments at Potters Bar community hospital and Barnet Hospital. Another group reliant on the service are staff and people who shop at the London Colney retail centre.
The 84 is a long-standing route and was started in August 1912 by the London General Omnibus Company to connect St Albans with the Underground Electric Railways Company Limited’s station at Golders Green.
The poster advertising the route, designed by Fred Taylor, which was first published by the Underground Electric Railways in 1916, is in the London Transport Museum.
Concern about the future of the 84 has been heightened by the fear that Hertfordshire County Council might have to make cuts in its support for bus services.
Another factor is that a subsidy is unlikely to be offered by Transport for |London towards the cost of the section of the route through Barnet given TfL’s current financial difficulties.
The 84 is a notable example of a bus service that crosses into the TfL area and its significance as a cross country route cannot be underestimated.