Tell us how new bus routes would help you

by | Nov 1, 2018 | News, Traffic & Transport | 14 comments

We listened to what you had to say about new bus routes to connect Highgate to its neighbours to the east and west and have come up with a new route (see map above). Do let us know what you think about it in the comment box below. We would also like to hear your ideas for extending or shortening existing routes.

And, most importantly, tell us how the proposed new route would make your life better. Do you have problems getting to the Royal Free Hospital or the Hornsey Central Neighbourhood Health Centre? Can you get to your allotment without getting two buses? How do you get to events at Burgh House in Hampstead? Can you get to the shops you need or visit relatives and friends without getting in a car or calling a cab? Where would you go if the new route was introduced?

Long term residents of Highgate will know that many of us have long felt that that public transport connections to neighbouring areas, shops, schools and hospitals are inadequate. The HNF is also most concerned about how traffic congestion is affecting the quality of the air we breathe and looking to find ways to persuade people out of their cars. We found that our neighbours in the Hampstead, Crouch End and Dartmouth Park Neighbourhood Forums felt much the same way and we decided to band together to lobby TfL (Transport for London) for more useful bus routes and, of course, low emission buses. Our GLA representative and Deputy Mayor Joanne McCartney convened a meeting with TfL for us last Spring and we received much useful data and assurance that all our buses would be Euro Vl compliant by 2020.

However, we didn’t get very far with our ideas for new bus routes – as many of you will know, TfL have some funding issues at present. So, we have asked for an agreed follow-up meeting this Autumn and have come up with one simple new route above that takes account of your comments on our previous ideas. It avoids the already congested town centres of Hampstead High Street, Muswell Hill Broadway and Highgate High Street, whilst connecting our communities to each other’s shopping centres, hospitals, playing fields, allotments, schools and amenities like Highgate and Queens Woods and Hampstead Heath.

Knowing that fighting for a new route may well be a long term business, we have also suggested extending some existing routes in the meantime i.e:

  • Running the 168 from South End Green, via East Heath Road to Golders Green;
  • Routing the 268 along Hampstead Lane to Highgate Village and on down North Hill to East Finchley and Muswell Hill;
  • Extending the C11 from Archway up Highgate Hill and along Hornsey Lane to Crouch End Broadway.

Let us know below if you have any more ideas for extending existing routes.

 We are gathering data to help our cause but we need your stories to bring the figures to life and persuade TfL to take notice.



  1. Marta Rodriguez

    I do the school run from Highgate to Hampstead every day – on the 603. This route is perfect to access the multiple schools that there are in Hampstead.

    This bus would also be very useful to connect Hampstead and Highgate at other times throughout the day. Have you also considered the possibility of offering a few more journeys a day? Alternatively, how about bus 210? instead of always going towards Golders Green, why not alternate to connect with Hampstead as well?
    if there was a reliable bus connecting these two neighbourhoods you should expect to get more cars out of our streets.

    Your suggestion on extending 268 is also good.

    Anything you could do to connect these neighbourhoods better will be massively appreciated and should significantly reduce traffic.

    We will also need to do more to get people out of their cars though, but having better links is a great start.

    thanks very much for your continuous efforts on this!

    Kind regards

    local resident in Highgate

  2. Nicolas Forsans

    Interesting but sadly there’s no money for that and TfL will argue most of your route is served by existing bus routes with excess capacity (210, W7, 91, 143, W5 etc). Unless you take something out of existing bus routes (ie shorten them and therefore break existing journeys) they won’t have the resource to operate this new route. They’ll argue that with the Hopper fare anyone can already travel that proposed route for £1.50. They use the Hopper fare to shorten existing routes and reallocate resources so sadly I doubt this is something worth fighting for…

  3. Lesley Chamberlain

    Since we ditched our car in 2006 my husband and I have enjoyed living in the area so much more. From Highgate we have in our prime walked to Muswell Hill, Crouch Hill, Hampstead and Hampstead Garden Suburb. We regard them all as our home patch, and all have a great deal to offer, eg shops, cinemas and also many, many local events and clubs bringing together people of similar tastes who, after all, don’t live so far away from each other. As age catches up with us it would be wonderful to know we can keep up our local explorations with the help of better bus routes. At the moment to get to the Suburb takes three buses, which means three waiting times, and Muswell Hill and Crouch Hill are best accessed with a longish (though invariably pleasant) walk and then a bus. We don’t need to tell you that most expeditions around Highgate involve steep hills. We won’t always be able walk up and down them so readily. In particular we heartily endorse a new bus service that would link Hampstead-Highgate-Muswell Hill.

    • Fiona

      Hello. I agree, The journey from Highgate to Muswell Hill and Hampstead takes me two buses and I cannot manage a trip to Crouch End. A bus that goes directly to UCLH hospital would be very useful.
      Thank you for asking our opinions, I’m grateful you are trying to improve bus routes, particularly as this may encourage more folk to give up their cars. This will be better for the environment and our health.
      Best wishes

  4. Jennie

    I think this looks extremely sensible. If we can get more cars off the roads between Highgate village to Muswell Hill and Hampstead lane to the Spaniards, then we have all achieved something great. With ever-increasing congestion, pollution but also parking restrictions, this bus route would help. I would definitely use it. It would be particularly good in winter to travel from Highgate to Muswell Hill. Though easy to get a bus once over the other side of Archway road, walking down Southwood Lane in winter is a dangerous affair. The pavement is steep, slippery and never gritted – dangerous for everyone, so a single bus journey is a far better option.

    I would also challenge Highgate School and Channing about what they can do to help drive behaviour change in their parents and encouraging them to stop driving to the schools.

    • Caroline

      Need more direct links from Archway Road/ Highgate to Hampstead
      Archway Road / Highgate to St Johns Wood

  5. Gaynor Coltman

    Hi there
    This is something I once wrote to TFL about. I suggested extending the 214 route to Muswell Hill. If you live on my side of Highgate (off Highgate West Hill) we are ill served to get to Muswell Hill. I know there are routes from the other side of the Hill – the 134 and 43 but they are a walk away. If you live anywhere on the Highgate Road and Highgate West Hill it is necessary to get three buses to Muswell Hill. TFL replied that the beyond the village there is a new borough to consider and they suggested this was a hindrance (an admin one?).
    I know plans to modify the 271 are being discussed but perhaps if the 214 did not terminate on North Hill then the 271 could make use of this terminal point instead thereby getting it out of the village.
    Anyway. It is a thought. Another to add to your list. I will have a look at your other ideas too.

  6. Esther Brown

    WE have 4 buses serving Highgate Village and this is good but none cnnect directly with Muswell Hill or the Royal FRee and for thise of us whose mobility is not ghood these are important destinations. Therefore extending existing bus services to connect Highgate Village with these areas would help me as I have medical appointments at the Royal Fress Hospital and now avoid Muswell Hill and Crouch End because thre is no direct bus service to either and my walking is impaired.

  7. susan rose

    Since it doesn’t go up The hill at all anyone living on west hill is faced with long climb to use it. Not much help as it stands; also will take forever to do a circuit.

  8. KS

    Great idea – easier for children travelling from Highgate or Muswell Hill to get to schools in Hampstead and so might improve the dreadful congestion on Hampstead Lane each morning. Helpful for children getting to the four schools in Highgate Village too. Also for appointments at the Royal Free, NLPAC in Muswell Hill and Hampstead Theatre. Public transport is quite tricky for these places with children because of the walking and changes. If there was one bus, we’d use it.

  9. Paul Perlin

    I Would love to see the 603 service extended through the day .
    I live in Muswell Hill and would love a direct link to Hampstead, Swiss Cottage and then onto to the West End

  10. Mrs Sydney Charles

    I am a resident of the Haringey side of Highgate and a member of the Haringey Leisure Centre in Park Rd Crouch End to try to keep fit. But my main use of my car is to drive to Park Rd as it is far to walk the length of Shepherds Hill and Wolsley Rd. I never learned to ride a bike in my nearly 70 years and the hoppa bus only goes a short part of the way.
    If I could walk through Park Walk (off Southwood Lane) to the North Rd and catch a bus to Park Rd in Crouch End I’d rarely use a car.

    Moving the 271 to end at Highgate School and the 214 further along North Rd would also help those of us that live towards the north of Highgate.

  11. Kiat Phua

    A Hampstead-Highgate-Crouch End bus route will hugely benefit many young families in the area like ours. For the past five years on a daily basis, we rely on changing buses, or changing bus-to-tube at Archway and then changing between Edgware and Barnet branches within Camden station (simply to get to Hampstead… when it is really not that far away on the map!) Both Archway and Camden stations do not have lifts, so each change requires lifting buggies up/down steps while keeping an eye on children in the crowd and away from platform edges.

    Buses are safer, though not necessarily faster or easier convincing tired and cold children at exposed bus stops why we cannot board as the bus/wheelchair space is full. Again over the years, I have learned to best avoid travelling with buggies on C11, 268, 41 and 91 at peak commuting and school-run times, though circumstances frequently forces us to join the crowd. Standing space is packed to start with, and the wheelchair space is frequently fully occupied with buggies or more importantly – wheelchairs – as C11 and 268 also serve two hospitals (Royal Free and Whittington). Women expecting or travelling with young children will appreciate a direct bus link to these hospitals as well.

    If a new bus route is not feasible yet, simply extending C11 or 268 as proposed will meet the immediate needs for a direct bus route (without the congested Archway detour). Extending C11 will also allow families to change to C2 at Parliament Hill and reach central/west London (e.g. Oxford Circus, Hyde Park). I believe there is also an earlier W5 study to achieve similar objectives. Any of these new/extended bus services will plug the wide gap between Edgware and Barnet branches, easing up Archway/Camden interchange bottlenecks and the wider transport system. Not doing anything at all will be ignoring the problem to the detriment of many!

  12. Liam

    Removing 299 & 603 bus, extend the 268 bus to terminate at Cockfosters from Finchley Road so that people from Highgate can access Muswell Hill & Southgate area


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