Bus operator Arriva North West has announced plans to close two of its depots. The announcement means that a number of bus routes in Cheshire could soon be cut, causing anxiety and anger among local passengers.
Arriva is consulting on proposals to close its depots at Winsford and Macclesfield. If the closures go ahead, this would mean that there no longer be any Arriva bus services operating in Winsford, Northwich, Crewe and Macclesfield.
A spokesperson for the company said that the announcement had been made “with great regret” and insisted that the closure of depots and withdrawal of services were “always a very last resort”. Here is a full list of Cheshire bus routes that could be cut by Arriva North West.
Full list of Cheshire bus routes that could be cut by Arriva North West
If Arriva North West proceeds with its plans to close the depots at Winsford and Macclesfield, the company will no longer operate buses in Winsford, Northwich, Crewe and Macclesfield. The following services could be cut as a result of the depot closures:
84 – Crewe – Nantwich/Chester
6 – Leighton Hospital – Shavington
31 – Northwich – Winsford – Crewe
37 – Northwich – Winsford – Sandbach – Crewe
38 – Crewe – Macclesfield
7 – Winsford Local Circular
1 – Northwich Circular via Rudheath and Weaverham
4 – Barnton to Leftwich and Kingsmead via Northwich
3 – Macclesfield – Weston
4 – Macclesfield – Upton Priory
5 and 6 – Macclesfield – Broken Cross
9 – Macclesfield – Moss Rose
10 – Macclesfield – Bollington
“It is with great regret we announce we are consulting our highly valued team on the closure of our Winsford and Macclesfield depots which, if confirmed, would mean we would no longer operate any bus services in the Winsford, Northwich, Crewe and Macclesfield areas,” an Arriva spokesperson stated.
“Withdrawing services and closing depots are always a very last resort. This very difficult decision has been taken following exhaustive steps to turn around the loss-making services but with consistently too few customers to cover the increased cost of running services it is sadly necessary to launch a consultation with affected employees on closing the depots.”
The spokesperson added that Arriva’s “priority” during the consultation process is to ensure that “everything runs as smoothly as possible”. Arriva says that if the closures go ahead, it will work with local councils and any new operators who might take on its former routes.
Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury and Cheshire West and Chester Council leader Cllr Louise Gittins have launched a petition against Arriva’s planned cuts to local bus services. The petition is available to view and sign via Change.org.
However, all of the 14 services at threat may not be permanently lost, as bus firm D&G announced it would try to step in to pick up some of the routes axed by Arriva.
At the moment, these include the numbers 31, 37 an 84, along with the service they already provide on the 38.
David Brookes, commercial director at D&G Bus, said: “Local people will be worried about the future of bus travel in the area following this announcement. We’d like to reassure them that we intend to step in and cover as much of the Arriva network as we can.
“We’ve registered replacement services to cover the 31, 37 and 84, and we already provide a service on the 38. Timetables will be available on our website dgbus.co.uk over the next day or two.
“There are some services we haven’t registered but we will be speaking to local council officers to see what else we can do to help. We can’t guarantee we can cover all the Arriva routes but we’ll make every effort to keep local buses moving in the area.”