Wednesday, 16 November 2016

In Hoddesdon, Hertford and Hatfield ... (1)

Hurricanes Hardly Happen! But Buses Do
And the rain in Spain goes mainly down the drain!
Hoddesdon is a town in the Broxbourne borough of the English county of Hertfordshire, situated in the Lea Valley. It grew up as a coaching stop on the route between Cambridge and London.
At its height during the 18th century, more than 35 coaches a day passed through the town. It saw a boom in the mid 20th century as gravel was extracted from the area, but was exhausted by the 1970s. The lakes and water pits left behind have been used as leisure amenities. Today, Hoddesdon has a little light industry but is mainly a London commuter belt town

The Cambridge Road (A10) used to pass right through the town ...
... but a swish by pass now avoids the centre and is linked to it by the Dinant Link Road.
This, in turn, links to the old A10 (renumbered A1170) ...
... which has also been swung away from the town centre and its distinctive clock tower.
Back in the days of fbb's comparative youth, the buses all stopped at or near "Hoddesdon Clock"; and they still do, just!
But it is a fearful wiggle to get there from the south.
Last week Mrs fbb was at Hoddesdon, enjoying a prayer and bible study "do" at the High Leigh Conference Centre, a little out of the town on Lord Street.
Afternoon free time offered a stroll with other "girls" (?) into the town, and, obedient as ever, the better half went on a search for bus timetables. the only possible source was at the Library ...
... where Hertfordshire Council have a "One Stop Shop"; but not, as it turned out, much of a Stop for bus stops!

"My husband writes a public transport blog," she explained to the somewhat bemused young lady behind the counter, "and he would be interested in any timetables that you have."

What Mrs fbb did not know (why should she) was that the trunk route down the old A10 was bus route 310 (and variants) which originally ran from Enfield to Hertford. It was a red bus route ...
... later operated by Red Arriva.
Now no longer part of the London scene, the route starts from Waltham Cross not Enfield but remains with Blue Arriva. Back in August it gained trendy new buses ...
... complete with the latest electronic stuff including 4G WiFi! the timetable was improved with a "new" evening service and a "new" Sunday service. The publicity does not mention that these improvements were to re-instate buses withdrawn by Arriva about a year previously! The new vehicles were launched with much ceremony as here in Hoddesdon with "Bob".
Bob? A local radio station with a jolly slogan:-
One vehicle is named after a local heroine ...
... so fbb was looking forward to sampling publicity leaflets for the "improved" 310.

Well ....

 Next Hoddeson blog : Thursday 16th November 


  1. The "red bus route" was merely one part of the 310's long history. For much longer prior to that it had been a "green bus route", certainly for the life of the London Transport's Country Department 1933 to 1970 and then London Country as its successor.

  2. Route 310 was started by Harvey and Burrows in around 1920, and is one of the very longest lived bus routes in the Home Counties. The route was indeed a London Transport (CB&C) and then a London Country bus route running between Hertford (and estates) and Enfield Town Centre, together with various en-route deviations at various times.
    It had been left unchallenged until de-regulation in 1986, when London Buses at Potters Bar Bus Garage started an upstart 310A (followed by a 310B) commercial challenger . . . these lasted until the mid-Noughties, but were withdrawn because of the intransigence of TfL, who didn't want interlopers into London (it messed up their pretty computer model of bus routes).
    I'll refrain from further comment pending the next part of the fbb saga . . . . . but it's an interesting history in modern times . . . .

  3. I haven't planned much history for tomorrow so look forward to greenline727's part 2!