MP and council respond to 'concerning' Aylesbury bus depot closure

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Aylesbury’s MP has slammed Arriva’s proposals to close its depot in the county town.

Rob Butler said he was extremely concerned to hear of the international transport company’s plans to shut depots in High Wycombe and Aylesbury.

If Aylesbury’s depot does close when Arriva’s contractual obligations expire at the end of July, the town would be left without a bus service to Thame, Oxford, and High Wycombe.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Bucks Council has also expressed concerns over the sudden nature of Arriva’s announcement, which was published online yesterday (14 May).

Aylesbury MP Rob ButlerAylesbury MP Rob Butler
Aylesbury MP Rob Butler

But the authority has stated it has no powers over the commercial transport company and is unable to subsidise a replacement service.

Aylesbury’s MP, Mr Butler said: “I’m extremely concerned about Arriva Buses’ sudden proposals to close its depot in Aylesbury, and am angry that there was no warning that this was even being considered. The company has admitted that closing the Aylesbury depot would mean ending the vast majority of its services in our area, causing huge problems for those who rely on the buses to get to work, school or the doctor.

“I’ve demanded an urgent meeting with senior management at Arriva to voice my strong opposition to these proposals and will also be raising residents’ views in Parliament.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Read More
Rival parliamentary candidates in Bucks slammed for creating fake newspapers

Carousel Buses announced this morning, plans to save several of the bus routes put at risk by the potential closure of the depots, but these were mainly services leaving High Wycombe to serve areas in the south of the county. Also, the operator announced plans to run a service replicating the X7, which runs between Aylesbury and Oxford, but did not clarify whether those buses would still frequent Aylesbury, only confirming a new ‘280’ service will go to and from Oxford and Thame.

Councillor Peter Martin said: “Bus services in England are deregulated with the majority of services provided by commercial bus operators. Buckinghamshire Council does not have control over the commercial bus operators and the services they provide in our local area and neither are we in a position to subsidise or take over the proposed routes affected.

“While we are sympathetic to the reasons Arriva have given for their decision, we are also disappointed that this announcement has come with little warning and we are concerned about the negative impact this could have for passengers. We are aware that another bus operator, Carousel Buses, have indicated their intention to take over the vast majority of affected routes which is welcomed. We will be working closely with them and other local bus operators over the coming weeks to ensure that services are sustained wherever possible.”

Arriva announced it had begun discussions with staff about the possible closure of the two depots yesterday. The travel operator cited the fact that both Buckinghamshire depots lose money, despite alterations brought in at the start of the year to better cater for customers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

If Arriva does shut down its bases in High Wycombe and Aylesbury, the only remaining Arriva buses in Buckinghamshire will be the ones on routes initiated at the nearby Hemel Hempstead and Milton Keynes depots.