Arriva’s plans to stop running some bus routes in High Wycombe are ‘a tragedy’, passengers have said.

In a surprise announcement this week, the bus firm revealed it was proposing to close its Wycombe and Aylesbury depots and axe 14 services.

The company said it took the ‘difficult decision’ to consider closing the depots because both sites were ‘loss-making’.

Arriva said there would be ‘no immediate impact’ on services, which would not be cancelled until July 27 at the earliest.

But with bus routes potentially being cut in just over 10 weeks’ time, commuters at High Wycombe’s bus station have shared their views about Arriva’s plans.

READ MORE: Arriva bus depot closure 'disappointing', says local MP

Retired postman Robert Salt, 64, who has lived in the town for decades, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the depot closures would affect a lot of people.

While waiting for his bus, he said: “It would be a tragedy because a lot of people rely on it, especially older folk and those further out of the town.

“It would be very detrimental. There would be no other way for people to get in apart from taxis and a lot of people can’t afford that. It would be terrible.”

Robert, who is originally from Sutton Coldfield, normally walks into Wycombe town centre but due to a bad leg is currently coming in on buses run by Arriva’s competitor Carousel.

The bus firm reacted to Arriva’s plans by saying it was ‘ready to step in’ should its rival close depots and axe services.

Arriva is ‘relied on by everybody’, according to retiree Morris Haywood, 82, who takes the firm’s buses to visit family in High Wycombe.

Asked if he would personally be affected by the depot’s closure, he said: “Not really, if they keep the services up. If the services are really good, then we shan’t complain. That’s what we want.”

But the bus depot must not close, he stressed, adding: “Not really, if it is not necessary, then it shouldn’t. But again, we don’t have a choice, do we?”

Meanwhile, Imran Nasir, a vet from Wycombe, claimed Arriva’s planned closures ‘would have a massive impact on the residents here’.

He said: “I am going to probably have to get a car aren’t I? I am going to have to look at other options. And then there’s the ULEZ situation, so I have to really think of what type of car.

“I’m 32. It is not ideal taking the bus anyway, but it is so convenient. It is such an easy way to get around. It would be a massive impact for everybody.”

His concerns were echoed by Adrian Britton, a part-time payroll administrator from High Wycombe who lives in Aylesbury and travels between the towns on Arriva’s X9 bus – one of the services under threat.

The 31-year-old, who has who has autistic spectrum disorder, said: “Even though I have got a disabled bus pass, I would say it is pretty impactful. Aylesbury doesn’t have many shops.”

He added: “I could drive but it would cost me petrol, because normally I use the bus to save petrol.”

The services Arriva has proposed cancelling are:

  • X7/X8 – Aylesbury to Oxford
  • X9/X90 – Aylesbury to High Wycombe
  • 2 – High Wycombe to Booker
  • 3 – High Wycombe to Castlefield
  • 4 – High Wycombe to Lane End
  • 5/5a – High Wycombe to Bourne End
  • 6/6a – High Wycombe to Bourne End
  • 7/7a – High Wycombe to Bourne End and Maidenhead
  • 10 – High Wycombe to Downley
  • 11 – High Wycombe to Penn
  • 12 – High Wycombe to Micklefield
  • 13 – High Wycombe to Totteridge
  • 800/850/X80 – High Wycombe to Henley on Thames and Reading
  • X9/90 – Aylesbury to High Wycombe.

For more information, see Arriva’s website here.

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