Local London Assembly Member Joanne McCartney is calling on Transport for London to put patients first by extending the 318 bus route north to improve access to North Middlesex Hospital. Patients and visitors currently face long journeys which will only get worse when the government’s plans to transfer hospital services from Chase Farm go ahead.
Joanne met with local residents, patients groups, senior transport officials and local councillors this week to press the case for the bus route to be extended north towards Enfield.
President of Enfield Over-50s Forum, Monty Meth, North Middlesex Hospital Patient Representative, Peter Smith, and local councillor Derek Levy met with TfL bosses Leon Daniels (Managing Director of Surface Transport) and Clare Cavanagh (Director of Performance at London Buses) and Joanne McCartney at City Hall on Thursday 19 January.
Following the meeting, Joanne McCartney said “We need improvements to the bus services for people using Chase Farm, Barnet and North Middlesex Hospitals. As things stand residents in Enfield will have to suffer inconvenience and longer journeys and spend more money to get to hospital on two separate buses. This is really important to local people and TfL need to make it happen. I wont allow this issue to slip off the agenda and will keep the pressure on.”
Enfield Over 50s Forum president Monty Meth said “Although we’ve been promised there’ll be no changes in hospital services until both local bus and primary care services improve, TfL are stalling by claiming they will lose about £250,000 a year by running the 318 from the hospital through Palmers Green up to Highland village.”
“If health bosses want to go ahead with their reconfiguration plans they must help TfL find the money to extend the 318 service. Let NHS London and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley put their money where their mouth is.”
During the meeting TfL said that they are supportive of calls to extend the bus route but lack the funds because of government cuts. They agreed in principal to the idea of extending the service for a limited trial period – provided funding is made available.