A degree of relief as University of Hertfordshire steps in to save 797 bus

The 712 Uno bus to London Victoria

The 712 Uno bus to London Victoria - Credit: Archant

A bus service linking Stevenage to London which was due to be axed to save money has been partially rescued by the University of Hertfordshire.

Uno Buses, which run services in and around Hatfield to the university, has swooped in to run the route, and will take it over from March 2.

But it will only run from Hatfield to London Victoria instead of coming all the way to Stevenage.

The route, which is currently run by Arriva Greenline, will go between Hatfield and London during weekdays but there will be no weekend services.

Travellers can get connecting buses from Hatfield to and from Stevenage.

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Tickets can still be purchased on the bus, on mobile smart phones, as well as from Arriva Greenline outlets.

Uno will then begin a new service from April 1, which will include a revised weekday timetable.

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A university spokeswoman said: “This decision will come as a welcome move to passengers who rely on the service to reach the Hatfield campus from London.”

Managing director of Uno Buses Ltd James Thorpe said: “We are very pleased that Uno will be taking on the 797 bus service.

“We will be trialling the revised timetable from April and monitoring the use of the service over the following year to ensure it is financially viable in the long term.”

Uno’s 635 service runs between Hatfield and Baldock through Stevenage and the 625 service runs between Hatfield and Letchworth through Stevenage.

Pat Kilgarriff, who lives in Martins Wood, used to travel on the bus with her free bus pass.

She said she was pleased that most of the route had been saved, but was concerned about getting extra buses.

The 62-year-old said: “I would have to get a bus from my house to Stevenage town centre, and then from there to Hatfield and then the 797 to London.

“It would take me all day just to get there – so I wouldn’t do it not even for free.

“I am pleased the uni students will be able to use it but I don’t think people who use the service to get to work will use it.”

Arriva came under fire after announcing before Christmas that it was cutting the service because it could no longer find a way to make it pay.

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