Arriva have announced plans to re-draw the route of the no.8 bus service to Bedgrove, currently stopping along Welbeck and Ingram Avenue.
Today (19 July) Cllr Mark Winn met over 100 members of the Bedgrove Over 60’s Club who expressed their concerns to him over these planned changes. It is simply inconceivable and unacceptable that any group of residents should feel isolated and shut off from the wider community, when they live on a housing estate in the
County Town of Aylesbury.
Cllr Mark Winn said: "We are concerned that the removal of this service from much of the route in Bedgrove will leave many elderly and vulnerable residents without accessible public transport links to the community and services that they value. The wider community as a whole will suffer a detrimental effect as a result of this change."
The consequences of their decision could be that customers travel by road, either in a car or taxi. This goes against official moves to get people out of cars, it will add to existing pollution and traffic problems and certainly runs contrary to the Garden Town status awarded to Aylesbury. For some it may even mean they are trapped in their homes.
Cllr Julie Ward said: "We understand that his service is commercially operated and we are unable to force Arriva to make any changes. But - we urge Arriva to reconsider the consequences of this decision and its effect on the quality of life of their customers, especially older residents or those with mobility problems who will find it very difficult to use bus services after they take away the existing bus stops in Wellbeck and Ingram avenues."
According to Arriva’s Vision and Values statement their ambition is to become the Mobility partner of choice and they wish to support the communities they serve. With these changes they will instead be taking away the mobility they provide to many in Bedgrove and this will have a detrimental effect on our community.
Cllrs Julie Ward and Mark Winn have ensured that officers at Bucks CC have been able to share with Arriva the disappointment at the lack of consultation and the concerns of the local residents. It is clear that passenger issues were not included in the decision to make this change and that is something which Mark and Julie hope Arriva will reflect on and address imminently. Additionally, it is our understanding that it is proving to be extremely difficult to find replacement stops which are safe.
Arriva have indicated that they will be reassessing the new service in the Autumn. Mark and Julie say that this is too long and they should be reassessing the impact on the local community now. If Arriva don’t change their decision, Mark and Julie would urge other operators to consider providing the service.