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New usage survey to support campaign for bus route to Finchley Memorial Hospital
A survey detailing the usage of Finchley Memorial Hospital will be used to support a long-standing campaign for a new bus service.
Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer, who has been fighting for better transport to the hospital, said the new survey will take place over the next few months.
Currently the nearest bus stop to the hospital in Granville Road is nearly 250m away, making it difficult for some elderly and disabled people to walk to there.
Mr Freer said: “One of the major issues when considering bus services has been the unknown usage to and from the hospital, particularly while the site isn’t fully occupied.
“However, following the anticipated merger between Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust and Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust, new clinics are expected at Finchley Memorial Hospital.
“What’s more, the probable relocation of three GP surgeries into Finchley Memorial hospital will increase usage further still. This increased occupancy of the site will strengthen the business case for a regular bus service.”
Mr Freer said he has secured an agreement with the Deputy Mayor for Transport Isabel Dedring that TFL will work with Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group and London Borough of Barnet to undertake the detailed usage survey.
Meanwhile, The Finchley Society and the Friends of Finchley Memorial Hospital have already carried out their own survey asking patients how they travel to the hospital in Granville Road, and whether they would benefit from a bus route which takes them directly to the entrance.
But TfL remains firm in its belief that a new bus route is not possible at this time.
John Barry, head of network development for TfL, said: “The hospital grounds are not currently suitable for a public bus service as there is no bus stop area, and parking and drop-off spaces would need to be removed.”
He said that diverting route 382 would cost £120,000 each year and result in longer journey times for approximately 1,500 passengers every day.
He added: “Forecasts show that a much smaller number of people would use the diverted service to access the hospital. Given that healthcare services at this site are planned to increase we will continue to liaise with key stakeholders and will keep the decision under review.
"However, at this time we are not able to support this request.”
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