Future of the 603 bus is at stake

Once more the long fought for, hard won – but still inadequate – 603 Muswell Hill to Swiss Cottage bus route is in the frame! Having met with Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport a couple of weeks ago – and harangued him over having more operating hours for the 603 (as I always do) – post meeting it transpired that a review is in train (or in bus to be more accurate).

So I have written to Peter Hendy as below – and would encourage everyone who agrees that the 603 should firstly be retained, and secondly have its hours of operations expanded to either write to me at House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA or email me at featherstonel@parliament.uk and I will pass on all responses to Peter Hendy.

They consult with stakeholders (local authority etc) but if you ask me – it’s the people who use or need this route who are the real stakeholders – so make sure you have your say too!

Dear Peter

At our recent meeting when I raised the issue extending the hours of operation of the 603 (as I always do!) you said that the route would be coming up for review and that you would let me know more about it. So I thank you for following up on that discussion – but – the information subsequently passed to me by your office alarmed me.

Far from ‘coming up for review’ it would seem that the 603 is actually under review at the moment. The message I received says that views of stakeholders have been sought already.

Views of stakeholders like the Local Authority and other organizations (which I assume are the sort of stakeholders referred to) are undoubtedly important – but surely in this case – where the route is a response to local peoples’ need (only met to a small extent by a school hours bus) – Transport for London would want to know from those local people what demand is there for both the existing hours and extensions to those hours.

I would like your assurance that no decisions will be taken before I have had the chance to inform my constituents of the review – and given them the opportunity to feed in their views. And I would like an assurance from you that you will take their views on board.

As you know, I believe that this service is highly valuable and personally believe it should be extended through the day and evening.

I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Lynne Featherstone MP
Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Hornsey and Wood Green