Robert Halfon MP launches petition for better bus services in Harlow

News / Wed 19th Jul 2023 at 07:13am

HARLOW’S Member of Parliament, Robert Halfon, has stepped up to ensure bus transportation in Harlow and the villages is taken seriously. 

In February, Robert lobbied Arriva Buses in Harlow on behalf of constituents, highlighting local residents’ concerns about changes to and the removal of bus routes in and around Harlow. Whilst initial conversations with Arriva representatives were positive, Harlow continues to be plagued by unreliable bus services. In April, Arriva scrapped the vital Number 9 bus routes that served communities in Church Langley, Newhall and Potter Street and reduced the frequency of services on other routes. 

Robert is launching a petition, working closely with Harlow Council, calling on Arriva to deliver drastic improvements to be made to the areas most affected by bus reductions and complications in Harlow. Mr Halfon has also once again written to the Minister for Roads and Local Transport, Richard Holden MP, raising the concerns of residents with Government officials. 

Local residents can sign Robert’s petition here: https://www.roberthalfon.com/form/sign-the-petition-better-buses-f 

Calling on local people to sign the petition, Mr Halfon said, Scrapped routes, driver shortages and poor reliability continue to cause significant concerns for residents, many of which depend on local buses as their main source of transport. 

“I am taking decisive action to impress upon Arriva and other service providers the need for urgent improvements to bus services in Harlow. That is why I am launching a petition, working closely with Harlow Council, calling on Arriva to deliver drastic improvements to be made to the areas most affected by bus reductions and complications in Harlow.

“Buses are not only a source of transportation, but they are a means of freedom and independence for many. Therefore, I hope that this petition will push for the correct improvements to be made for our local community.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

19 Comments for Robert Halfon MP launches petition for better bus services in Harlow:

Son of Old Man River
2023-07-19 07:51:40

The Thatcherite Transport Act of 1985 privatised and deregulated bus services in the UK. The act abolished the general block grant subsidy from local government to operators to cover losses and stripped Traffic Commissioners of their role in fare-setting, forcing operators to remodel their provision based on profit not public service. The wheels on the bus ceased to go round and round many years ago Robert! Crocodile tears and paltry petitions will still leave Harlow’s public standing in the rain.

gary roberts
2023-07-19 07:57:51

You have to give it to Mr. Halfon, he knows an election is coming. Firstly a new Harlow Hospital that is not in Harlow, then potholes that he claims to have solved in the town, and now he wants to restore bus services to Potter Street. What a record to sell to the electorate. However, a new hospital without staff results in an even poorer service because of his disgraceful government. Then mortgage and private rental costs together with food and fuel costs rise and his record may be at best mixed. Add the budget cuts to all the public services and mixed becomes something less pleasant for the electorate in Harlow. And of course the much abused and worn out pledge that he works hard for Harlow and the people of Harlow now sounds so hollow. On that basis would you vote for him? I hope not!

2023-07-19 08:35:02

Be nice to have the number 9 running again 😁

2023-07-19 08:42:35

Unless Mr. Halfon's conservative colleagues at Essex County Council are prepared to provide more financial support for bus services that are not commercially viable then nothing will change. With the exception of the Bishops Stortford & Stansted service Harlow's bus services have never been worse than they are today.

David Forman
2023-07-19 09:17:37

Until the Thatcherite privatisation experiment is reversed then nothing with regards to the cost, quality and reliability of bus services will change.The systems is at fault and the Conservatives own the mess.

Nogin the nog
2023-07-19 09:25:11

Thatcher the milk snatched still has a lot to answer for

Guy Flegman
2023-07-19 15:27:04

With all the privatisation of things by successive governments over the years, which was supposed to reduce gov spending, why is no one asking why our taxes have continued to increase massively. Seems to me that we are constantly treated like mugs regardless of who you vote for. The gov collects 50% of gdp as tax, there is no excuse for anything to not work correctly

2023-07-19 15:52:49

It's ok though, once this new high speed metro bus link is put inbetween the bus and train station people will be able to get somewhere, but doesn't know where. All while the hggt project is there to promote working and living in the same town, sure by providing a means to escape the town...

2023-07-19 18:20:01

Its all political nonsense and bs. #9 bus gone. #8 will follow. Cutting back everywhere. If the buses were cheap and reliable people would use them. It would cut car usage and pollution. But then I'm only a member of the public and not a privileged MP

2023-07-19 19:06:10

The next comment will be arriving shortly.

2023-07-19 19:13:54

"Robert! Crocodile tears and paltry petitions will still leave Harlow’s public standing in the rain." Spot on, same with the River Stort, lots of talking but then blamed Labour and voted to release sewage into the rivers. Sooner we he this corruption out the better. I'm a Conservative BTW, the party he works for, and he - isn't.

Matthew Gillman
2023-07-19 19:29:05

Yes, Wadders. You never see a comment, and then three come along at once.

2023-07-19 19:56:35

Oh the irony. At the last GE, the then (hard-ish left, Corbyn supporting) Labour candidate campaigned on the issue of poor bus services, amongst others. Obviously, the Tories and their supporters poo-pooed the very idea of improving bus services as unaffordable, etc. And now Robert Halfon, back from the culture wars of "Micky Mouse Degrees" is now stealing the policies of failed Labour candidates. Welcome to the hard left of politics, Comrade Halfon! Perhaps Comrade Halfon could look back in history and see exactly who it has been depriving councils of funds to improve bus services for the last 13 years.

2023-07-20 06:43:46

Its ok pushing for more bus routes or even reinstating bus routes but have you seen and heard these old buses trundling up pot holed roads that have traffic calming measure that are falling apart and have bolts sticking out of the road! then add on you cannot open your windows from 6am until 12pm due to the dust created (from failing road conditions) by the rear fans on these old buses and to top it off the noise is unbelievable and all this in a residential area! yes reinstate the service but not with the current buses that no one else wants that surely are not compliant with current so called Global warming and Harlow Councils drive for electric cars and charging points! I rest my case!

Guy Flegman
2023-07-20 07:54:53

What’s so bad about Micky mouse? Disney world has probably the best public transport system in the world and it is free. Mickey Mouse for PM I say.

Andrew Turvey
2023-07-20 09:43:33

"forcing operators to remodel their provision based on profit not public service..." Delete "profit" and replace with "financial sustainability". We should make no apologies for saying bus services should be financially sustainable. Spending millions of our taxes to fund routes that no one uses is a daft idea. Yes, there is sometimes a case for targeted subsidies but routes should be designed around the routes where there is demand.

Andrew Rowan Turvey
2023-07-20 09:48:23

"why is no one asking why our taxes have continued to increase massively." Great question. Absolutely they have - taxes as % of GDP is getting higher and higher and this is seen in everyone's day to day spending. The hard truth is this is mostly due to healthcare. Every day there are new wonder drugs being developed that often give marginal benefits but the papers are up in arms if the NHS dares to say they wont fund it. So the bill goes up and up and up and up.

Tony Treacher
2023-07-20 16:19:20

I was a London Transport Bus Inspector in 1985, when it all changed, I could never quite get my head around, how putting extra costs on the system, I.e shareholders, was going to make the service better? Now we have bus companies, that for a large part, are owned by enterprises outside this country, and those clowns in Westminster, are left wondering how it all went wrong, when they caused it?

Cliff Moore
2023-07-20 16:39:46

First can I point out that there has never been a “golden age” of public transport (especially buses) in Harlow – at least since 1980 when I first came here. When I came for an interview for a job here the interviewer said (on the phone) “phone us when you get here and we will pick you up” (by car) as the “buses are all a bit mixed up here”. That was then. However, about the kindest thing I can say about bus deregulation and privatisation is that there was no improvement after its introduction. In fact London (that bastion of British capitalism and free enterprise) has long ago rejected this model of operation and TfL (Transport For London) is effectively a public service for some time now. After the initial spree of several bus operators coming and going it has now boiled down to just about two. Now Arriva usually do a good service between the two commuter times and during the day – but they have been allowed to directly “opt out” of the evening, weekend and Bank Holiday services as part of their service contract. The service then falls to Essex County Council. They hire whichever bus company wins the bid– usually lately it is Arriva. This service has been severely cutback in recent years so that a within Harlow service is now a two hour wait on Sunday for a few buses. Is it any wonder that those who can avoid this “service” and use private transport or taxis – or cycle and walk. Also on some Bank Holidays there is NO Harlow exclusive service at all (which is against the statutory regulations for these routes as it happens). The new developments in Harlow and beyond all “trumped” the great public transport service that will be provided – plus the new bus hub (I think it is called) to replace the Town Centre bus station. That has long been a joke place with automatic doors that do not work, locked doors in an evening, information boards that either do not work or cannot be relied on, and a home for Harlow pigeons (as there is no roof without large open gaps all around. Lovely in winter!. No-one who has a choice (and is not committed to public transport) would realistically choose to go by bus – especially in the evenings and weekend – our leisure time as it happens! The services need to run at regular times and not be prone to abrupt cancellations with no reason given. The “information” boards need to have proper information – they seem to manage to do this fair well over in Hertfordshire. A return of the Green Line to London would be welcome too. I have no idea why Robert Halfon is involving Harlow Council in this petition as the bus services are a responsibility of Essex County Council – of which we have three Councillors actually in Harlow. They need to fight the corner for Harlow to get it’s fair share – not be treated as the pariah Town that it seems to be treated as by that Council.

Leave a Comment Below:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *