Residents at a retirement village fear they will lose their independence if a “lifeline” bus route is cut while a high street is closed for improvement works.

Operator Carousel will be removing the 336 bus service – which leads into the Cedars Retirement Village off Dog Kennel Lane in Chorleywood – until September due to Watford High Street being revamped until September.

However, “distressed” people living in the village – where the average age is 85 – say they were not consulted over the plans.

Residents say they will now struggle to go shopping or pick up medicine in towns such as Rickmansworth or Watford without any other means of public transport.

Jennifer James lives at Cedars, which was built in 1995, and believes elderly people will struggle to walk further afield to different bus stops outside the village.

The 79-year-old said: “This bus was a lifeline to a lot of people as we don’t have cars and so rely on public transport. “I still need to get into town to do my shopping as the nearest bank is in Rickmansworth. How will I do this now?

“We weren’t even told beforehand and only found out when a resident noticed the route was no longer on the timetable.”

Ian and Rose McIntosh, who also live in the village, added: “The 336 Carousel Bus service into Cedars retirement village was terminated with no consultation much to the distress of the elderly residents who depend on it.

“Residents can no longer use the covered and safe bus stop within Cedars Village but instead they have to walk to the main road across common land to get to the bus stop.

“The path is muddy and slippery as you can see in the attached photos taken last week. The only alternative is to walk along the very narrow Dog Kennel Lane.”

Other residents fear their “independence” will be threatened if their only means of travelling around is taken away.

They said: "Please do not put us in as a care home or old people's home; we are a retirement village which means independent living."

Watford Observer:

An army of residents gathered to oppose the 336 bus route being cut

Cedars Retirement Village manager Colin Foulger called the bus route “a vital social bridge to the wider community”.

He said: “Without any formal discussion, consultation or notification, the current providers of the service – Carousel Buses Ltd – have chosen to stop the daily service that gives some residents vital access to Watford and Chorleywood. Some residents rely on the bus for shopping trips and medical appointments.

“Residents will have to walk to the main road along grass verges - as there is no formal footpath in Dog Kennel Lane to catch a bus. This is both dangerous and totally impractical.

“Whilst we understand the commercial realities of life, we also recognise the social responsibility of local authorities and their service providers to support our ageing population who are attempting to continue living independently.”

Phil Southall, managing director of Carousel responded: "We'd like to reassure passengers that changes to our 336 service are temporary measures due to the closure of Watford High Street and normal service will reassume when it re-opens.

“As a result of the closure the 336 currently has to take a considerable diversion to maintain our core service.

"Unfortunately to uphold the frequency of the service it was necessary to make time savings elsewhere on the route. These were made following consultation with Hertfordshire County Council.

“It included taking out a small diversion off the main road that serves Cedars Retirement Village. While regrettable, the service was very lightly used from the village with many journeys not picking up any passengers at all."