Labour and the Liberal Democrats have lined up to attack Arriva’s plans to cancel bus services between High Wycombe and Aylesbury.

Candidates representing both parties at this year’s general election branded Arriva’s proposals ‘deeply concerning’.

The bus firm announced last week that it planned to axe 14 routes and shut its ‘loss-making’ depots in Aylesbury and High Wycombe.

Labour’s Emma Reynolds – who hopes to replace the MP for Wycombe Steve Baker – said the services Arriva planned to stop running ‘provide a lifeline to many residents’.

In a pre-election statement, the politician called on Arriva to ‘drop its plans to cancel essential bus services which provide many Wycombe residents with public transport in and out of High Wycombe and to different parts of the county’.

READ MORE: Arriva plans to cut bus routes in Wycombe 'a tragedy'

She said: “These services are a lifeline to many residents in Downley, Castlefield, Booker, Penn, Micklefield, Totteridge and Lane End.”

Arriva’s plans are not confirmed, and the bus company has only started consultations on closing its depots.

If the depot closures go ahead, nothing would change until July 27 at the earliest, the firm said last week.

However, the plans are still worrying, according to Reynolds, who said: “This is a huge issue of concern.

“It will particularly affect those without any other means of transport, leaving them stranded and isolated.

“But it also discourages people from getting the bus as an alternative to driving which then causes more air pollution and damage to the environment.”

The Labour candidate stressed the importance of bus travel for people attending GP appointments, especially in Downley where there are few surgeries and for people travelling to Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

She added: “From the sixth former in Marlow Bottom arriving late for lessons, to the dad in Downley worried about losing his job because he is so often late for work, bus services in our area are simply not good enough.”

From the Liberal Democrats, Buckinghamshire unitary Councillor Steve Lambert also weighed in on Arriva’s plans to scale back services.

The prospective parliamentary candidate for the new Aylesbury constituency hopes to replace the area’s Conservative MP Rob Butler in the election later this year.

In a statement, he said: “I am deeply concerned that the Arriva bus depot in Aylesbury may close, putting at risk jobs and community transport.

“This is evidence of a huge failure by this government to reform bus services and their much heralded £3Bn ‘Bus Back Better’ strategy is in tatters and has left unsustainable routes, fares and vehicles.

“Since Margaret Thatcher deregulated the bus services in the 1980s, buses have been the poor relation of the transport world.

“This could be the death knell for village communities. I have reached out to Arriva to understand the impact of the decision on Aylesbury and villages including what that means for pupils going to and from school.”

Arriva plans to cancel the following services:

  • 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

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