Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or email us
Residents' anger at bus firm Arriva's scrapping of service
Angry sheltered housing residents in Watford have branded the scrapping of a bus service they depend on “disgusting”.
Pensioners at Swanston House, in Whippendell Road, are furious their 323 route has been stopped without notice or consultation.
They say some were left waiting at the bus stop for hours because Arriva never told them the service had been withdrawn.
Victor Cuthbert, 98, who is partially sighted, said: “Nobody ever told us. It happened overnight. It’s an outrage. I’m really angry about it. It’s completely out of order, not just for me but for everyone else. They should give us back some sort of service immediately.”
Eve Robinsons, 75, said: “I’m annoyed because I waited two hours for a bus and it never turned up. I was just standing there, and I had a headache. Now I’m stranded. I can’t go to town to do my everyday things.”
Phil Harris, 68, said: “It’s totally out of order not letting people know, or giving any reason. I thought it was a joke when I found out. I’ve got to go to the town centre to pick up my pension. It’s disgusting.”
Hertfordshire county councillor Nigel Bell, Labour representative for Holywell and Vicarage, said: “This is a callous uncaring decision made by the Arriva Bus Company without any consultation with local West Watford residents, particularly the elderly and vulnerable residents of the sheltered scheme in Swanston House.
“I have written to Arriva management and county council officers to call for this decision to be urgently looked at try to get this vital service reinstated.”
In an email to Councillor Bell, the bus company wrote: “I appreciate your concerns and understand that our bus service has provided residents of Swanton House with a valuable link to and from Watford for many years.
“The route in question had been losing money for some time. We are not in the business to pay people to use our services. Therefore we had to make changes to improve the overall performance of our buses in Watford.”
An Arriva spokesman told the Watford Observer: “Following a review of our services in the Watford area, we have had to withdraw service 323 as a result of very low passenger numbers.
“We continue to work with Hertfordshire County Council in order to find a cost-effective and sustainable solution for those left without a bus service.”
Comments are closed on this article.