Campaigners call for bus diversion to Finchley Memorial Hospital

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Campaigners have started a petition calling for a bus diversion to Finchley Memorial Hospital.

The website for the petition, which has received nearly 1,900 online signatures in two weeks, claims much of the hospital is “empty” as local GPs are avoiding the building, which their patients cannot access.

The nearest bus stop to the £28million hospital, in Granville Road, is nearly 250m away, making the site difficult to reach for some elderly and disabled people.

Julia Hines of Age UK Barnet, which set up the petition, said: “A new bus stop is so very vital. Older and disabled people must be able to access the facilities that are there specifically for them.”

Transport for London’s (TfL) persistent refusal to divert a bus route has been a point of contention for residents and politicians alike since the hospital, which boasts indoor and outdoor gyms and 54 private en suite bedrooms, opened in October 2012.

Mike Freer, MP for Finchley and Golders Green, said: “I have been pressing TfL on this issue when it became apparent the NHS hadn't planned for public transport. I have met the deputy mayor and had site visits.

“I am hopeful that as the hospital becomes fully occupied and we enter a new financial year, TfL will reconsider.”

Charlie Sheldon, deputy chief nurse at Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust, the parent organisation that oversees Finchley Memorial Hospital, also voiced his support for the petition.

He said: “We support any practical changes that improve accessibility for our patients.

“I hope a solution can be found that suits all parties and enables our patients easier access to the community health services that we provide there.”

When asked about the petition by the Times Series, TfL said diverting a bus to the hospital would cost £120,000 a year, and delay other travellers.

John Barry, head of network development for TfL, said: “We have considered this request, but diverting route 382 would cost £120,000 each year and result in longer journey times for around 1,500 passengers every day.

“Forecasts show that a much smaller number of people would use the diverted service to access the hospital.

“In addition, 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.”

Comments (3)

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3:59pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

Not sure why you are quoting Freer as it is Andrew Dismore who has been continually raising this and getting nowhere with the Mayor, who clearly has no interest in the plight of ordinary residents unable to reach this hospital without a long walk. Strange that it is hinted a magicial solution might be found in the next financial year, which will bring us nicely to oh, the 2015 general election.

Freer is a big supporter of the privatisation of the NHS. Strange that where there is no profit to be made, private enterprise is so reluctant to step in and provide this vital service.

Why do politicians have to play games with an issue that should be beyond point scoring, and for the urgent benefit of the sick, elderly and disabled users of this hospital?

I simply do not believe that there are costs of £120, 000 for merely diverting a bus three minutes around the corner. This is a pathetic excuse, and it is clear that a solution to this issue is being deliberately stalled.
Not sure why you are quoting Freer as it is Andrew Dismore who has been continually raising this and getting nowhere with the Mayor, who clearly has no interest in the plight of ordinary residents unable to reach this hospital without a long walk. Strange that it is hinted a magicial solution might be found in the next financial year, which will bring us nicely to oh, the 2015 general election. Freer is a big supporter of the privatisation of the NHS. Strange that where there is no profit to be made, private enterprise is so reluctant to step in and provide this vital service. Why do politicians have to play games with an issue that should be beyond point scoring, and for the urgent benefit of the sick, elderly and disabled users of this hospital? I simply do not believe that there are costs of £120, 000 for merely diverting a bus three minutes around the corner. This is a pathetic excuse, and it is clear that a solution to this issue is being deliberately stalled. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 6

9:44pm Mon 17 Mar 14

Brianw says...

Another option would be to route every alternate 263 service from the High Road along Granville Road and then Ballards Lane to North Finchley. There are sometimes occasions when patients at the FMH are referred to Barnet Hospital and this would be the ideal solution as the 263 terminates at Barnet Hospital.

I think common sense is severely lacking within TFL and that the folk that discuss these things there sit in their ivory tower and simply do not get off their butts and actually vist the site.
Another option would be to route every alternate 263 service from the High Road along Granville Road and then Ballards Lane to North Finchley. There are sometimes occasions when patients at the FMH are referred to Barnet Hospital and this would be the ideal solution as the 263 terminates at Barnet Hospital. I think common sense is severely lacking within TFL and that the folk that discuss these things there sit in their ivory tower and simply do not get off their butts and actually vist the site. Brianw
  • Score: 1

7:44am Fri 21 Mar 14

Mr. Datchery says...

Talking of FMH, I have to have regular routine tests there. Every time I go I have to explain to bemused visitors that yes, provided you obtain a ticket from the machine on which you have printed the last 3 digits of your car number, you can park for free for 3 hours. Some still don't understand and I leave them looking in vain for a coin slot.
Talking of FMH, I have to have regular routine tests there. Every time I go I have to explain to bemused visitors that yes, provided you obtain a ticket from the machine on which you have printed the last 3 digits of your car number, you can park for free for 3 hours. Some still don't understand and I leave them looking in vain for a coin slot. Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 1

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