Passengers hold farewell party for C2 bus as route is axed
Driver in tears as popular route is stopped as part of TfL timetable shake-up
05 April, 2019 — By Helen Chapman
Linda Zuck, Khin Tye and Janet Pollak on one of the last C2 journeys
THE wheels on the C2 bus will no longer go round and round, after Friday evening’s final journey on the route.
Regular passengers said farewell to the bus – axed by Transport for London – by holding a party at the Southampton Arms pub, near Parliament Hill.
Valia Hatzichristou, who organised the celebration for the bus which links Highgate Road to the West End, said: “I wanted to bring the community together. It seemed like a fun idea.”
Ms Hatzichristou, who travelled on the C2 bus up to three times a week, said: “I have lived here [Parliament Hill] on and off for about nine years. I spoke to someone at the Parliament Hill bus stop and gave a driver an invite. He said he would put it up at the bus depot so we are hoping some of the drivers will join us tonight.”
The New Journal was on board the C2 bus on Friday evening for one of its final journeys.
Mustafa Diriye, who has been driving the route for five years, had tears in his eyes when making an announcement to passengers at the final stop, reminding them that this was the final night.
Mustafa Diriye says goodbye to his C2 route
Mr Diriye, who lives in Peckham, will now be driving the C3 bus, which runs from Clapham Junction to Warwick Road in Westminster.
He told the New Journal: “I will be working for the same bus company but a different route. It won’t be the same. I feel emotional. I will miss the nice people and the nice route.”
The C2, operated by Abellio bus company, is being replaced by route 88 buses run by Metroline.
The 88, starting at Clapham Common, will now travel through Piccadilly and Oxford Circus and follow the current C2 route before terminating at Parliament Hill Fields instead of Camden Town.
It will no longer stop at Mornington Crescent tube station, Hampstead Road, Warren Street tube station or Euston Road.
C2 party organiser Valia Hatzichristou and, below, Will Hosking, Kez Osman and Lydia Jenkinson toast their favourite bus
Linda Zuck, who lives in Parliament Hill, thanked Mr Diriye when disembarking from the C2 for the last time on Friday. “The drivers are really friendly,” she said. “I always say thank-you to the drivers. It’s just what you do when riding the C2. Drivers always say they like this bus route.”
She added: “All us locals love the C2. It seems mad to have an emotional attachment to a bus number but we all do. I can only assume they are making the changes to make cost savings. It will risk running the service down.”
A consultation survey held last summer showed 66 per cent of respondents opposed the plans, with only 15 per cent in support, but transport chiefs confirmed in January that it would be cut.
C2 party: Eileen Bacon and Jeanie Billington and, below, John Parker
John Parker, who lives off Highgate Road, saw a notice about the C2 party by the Tesco store in Swain’s Lane.
He said: “I’ve been on the C2 bus a number of times from Swain’s Lane up to Regent’s Park. What I really like about it are the great big windows with the great view, which the 88 doesn’t have.”
Lydia Jenkinson, 22, had a pint in honour of the C2 on Friday at the Southampton Arms. She rode the C2 bus to work in New Cavendish Street every day.
She said: “I saw the notice for tonight on the C2 bus stop in Highgate. It takes me 40 minutes door to door to get to work. I am worried the journey will become longer for me. Even though it is the same route, there will be more and more people getting on and off, which may slow it down.”
TfL’s director of public transport service planning Geoff Hobbs said: “There are significantly more buses than there is demand for along Hampstead Road. By making changes to routes C2 and 88 we can ensure the network is more efficiently run, with buses where they are needed most.”
He added: “Customers who used the C2 will experience no change to their current route by using the amended 88. We will continue to monitor the effect of these changes to ensure they are working for all our