Bus company to close local depots

May 15, 2024 Transport,Travel

Arriva the Shires has proposed the closure of its bus depots in Aylesbury and High Wycombe saying that both centres are lossmaking despite “extensive efforts to turn the situation around.” The closures are likely to take place some time after 27th July this year.

If adopted, the plans will see the general withdrawal of 14 service groups that in addition to serving as town provision in each location extend to Maidenhead, Oxford, and Reading, although journeys worked under contract to Buckinghamshire Council or Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) will continue to be operated by Arriva until those terms expire.

One other route – the X5 between Aylesbury and Hemel Hempstead – will be operated from Arriva’s depot in the latter town. The business says that “there will be no immediate impact” on services while it works with local authorities (LAs) to minimise the impact of removals should the closures progress.

Arriva says that if the proposed closure of Aylesbury and High Wycombe depots goes ahead, it will look “to avoid redundancies by redeploying as many colleagues as possible to other UK Bus locations and/or roles.” Aylesbury has an authorisation of 58 vehicles and High Wycombe has an authorisation of 55.

Fortunately Oxford Bus Company has also announced it will be stepping in to assist Arriva customers with the launch of a new 280 service between Oxford, Headington, Wheatley and Thame. This service will operate every 30 minutes and will commence operation from 1st July 2024. The timetable for the new service will be posted on their website as soon as possible.

In addition, their sister company Carousel Buses will be stepping in to provide replacement services on routes in the High Wycombe area. Carousel is taking over route 4 from 19th May 2024, and has also announced that it provide replacement services on current Arriva routes 2, 3, 5/5a, 6/6a, 7/7a, 10, 11, 12, 13, 800, 850 and X80, from the date of the closure.

Luke Marion, Oxford Bus Company and Carousel Buses Managing Director, said: “We understand that local people may be worried that the bus services they rely on across Wycombe, South Bucks and Oxfordshire may be affected by this news – but they need not be concerned.

I can reassure them that Oxford Bus Company and Carousel are ready to step in, to ensure bus users can still get to where they need to go. We will be working hard over the coming months to plan the new services.”