London’s bus network is extensive, with routes that cover almost every corner of the city. However, there is one route that takes an unusual detour through Hertfordshire in the middle of its journey: the 242.
The 242 is a popular bus route that connects Homerton Hospital in East London with St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London. It runs through several boroughs, including Hackney, Islington, and the City of London, before taking an unexpected turn into Hertfordshire.
At the peak of its journey, the 242 takes a five-mile detour through Hertfordshire, passing through the towns of Cheshunt and Waltham Cross. The detour adds approximately 15 minutes to the journey time, and many passengers are unaware of the diversion until they find themselves outside of London.
Reasons for the Detour
The reason for the detour is largely historical. When the 242 was first introduced in the 1930s, the route was extended to Cheshunt to serve the growing number of Londoners who were moving to the area. Over time, the route was modified to reflect changes in the local transport network, but the detour through Hertfordshire remained.
Benefits and Drawbacks
The detour through Hertfordshire has both benefits and drawbacks. On the one hand, it provides a direct connection between East London and parts of Hertfordshire, making it easier for commuters and travelers to get around. On the other hand, the detour adds time and distance to the journey, which can be frustrating for passengers who are traveling to destinations within London.
Future of the Route
Despite the unusual detour, the 242 remains a popular bus route, serving thousands of passengers each day. However, some have called for the route to be modified to remove the detour through Hertfordshire. Supporters argue that the route would be faster and more efficient if it stayed within London, while opponents point out that the detour serves an important role in connecting London with Hertfordshire.
London’s bus network is full of surprises, and the 242 is no exception. Its five-mile detour through Hertfordshire may seem unusual, but it serves an important role in connecting London with its neighboring counties. While some may call for changes to the route, for now, the 242 continues to serve passengers on its unique journey through East London and beyond.