· Trial of bus route 383 extension to Finchley Memorial Hospital to begin this Saturday 31 October
· Barnet residents will have easier access to the hospital and health services that recently relocated to the site
· Residents to have their say on the extension when a full consultation is held in early 2021
Barnet residents will be able to travel more easily to Finchley Memorial Hospital as the trial of an extension to bus route 383, from its current Woodside Park terminus to the facility, gets underway this Saturday 31 October.
The Mayor asked TfL to review hospital bus services in 2017, and in the light of coronavirus these services have been reviewed further. The pandemic has led some NHS Trusts to reconfigure services across their sites and the proposed bus route extension to Finchley Memorial Hospital is a temporary measure in response to this by serving the changing demand.
From Woodside Park station, the current terminus, the route will run back along Woodside Park Road before turning on to North Finchley High Road and continuing via Granville Road to Finchley Memorial Hospital, where it will terminate. The route will stop at all stops along the way, including North Finchley town centre where customers can change to and from a range of other routes serving many parts of north London.
The route, operated by Uno bus, will continue to run from Monday to Saturday and the frequency will remain the same, with a service every 30 minutes between 06:00 and 20:00 from Finchley Memorial Hospital and departure times from Barnet, The Spires remaining the same (05:35 to 19:35).
TfL has been working closely with the Community Health Partnerships to implement the extension, which has included making some changes to the way the car park at Finchley Memorial Hospital operates and the installation of a new bus stop and stand.
Any permanent changes would be subject to full public consultation, which will take place in early 2021.
Geoff Hobbs, Director of Public Transport Service Planning at TfL, said: “Our aim is to provide the best bus service possible for customers, and this involves the constant review of the network to ensure that it responds to changes in the city to meet customer needs. The pandemic has led to a sudden change in local healthcare provisions, including in the Barnet area. We hope that this trial extension of the route 383, which provides better access to the Finchley Hospital, will help people get to work and access healthcare facilities. We look forward to hearing feedback from the community when we launch the consultation.”
Andrew Meakin, Regional Property Director at Community Health Partnerships, who manage Finchley Memorial Hospital said: “We are thrilled to see the number 383 extension to Finchley Memorial Hospital will be up and running in the coming few days.
“We have worked jointly with North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group and our local NHS LIFTCo partner to lobby and support this initiative.
“The new extended route stopping directly outside the hospital will provide a much needed accessible solution for visitors, especially for vulnerable and elderly patients, who use the facility.
“With the additional transport links to the hospital we hope this will reduce the amount of traffic within the hospital grounds and surrounding areas, and also improve parking facilities to free up more spaces for those who cannot use public transport or come from further afield.
“With the appropriate safety precautions implemented at this current time, we hope many patients and visitors to the hospital will utilise this new service.”
TfL’s extensive anti-viral cleaning regime across the transport network includes using hospital-grade cleaning substances that kill viruses and bacteria on contact and provide ongoing disinfection. More than 1,000 hand sanitiser points have been installed across the network for everyone to use and firm action is being taken against the minority of customers who refuse to wear a face covering without an exemption. Single decker buses, including those on route 383, remain limited to either 11 or 14 passengers, depending on bus size, in order to maintain social distancing.
TfL has regularly tested for coronavirus on the transport network with no evidence of the virus found to date and, last month, a new testing plan with Imperial College London started. This work involves independent monthly air and surface sampling, on both the Tube and buses. The results from the first round of collaborative sampling in September have already been received and were, again, all negative for the presence of COVID-19.
- Buses will operate Monday to Saturday, with a service every 30 minutes (two buses per hour) between 06:00 and 20:00 from Finchley Memorial Hospital and departure times from Barnet, The Spires remaining the same (05:35 to 19:35)
- For more information visit https://tfl.gov.uk/bus/route/383/
TfL confirms trial of route 383 extension to Finchley Memorial Hospital from 31 October