New timings have been put in place for a bus service after Arriva changed its timetable for 2020 – but it is already causing problems for commuters.

The bus company has changed the timings and frequency of the 520 service, which runs through Watford, Rickmansworth and Maple Cross.

Since the service was introduced in September 2018 it has faced issues. Speaking to the Watford Observer last year, Cllr Phil Williams said 520 buses were “intermittent” since there would be times when the service is good but others when it is bad.

He added: “The service has never been perfect and people in Maple Cross are always being let down. It is not fair.”

But changes were made to the timetable on Monday, January 6 in the hope it would cause less disruption to the service.

Before the changes, buses between Maple Cross and Watford would run every half hour – now it will run hourly from Monday to Friday.

But the service will continue to run every half hour between Maple Cross and Rickmansworth.

However, regular bus user Sam Lambert, 28, has said the new timetable “is just a mess” as some buses are still arriving late at stops.

Mr Lambert, from Maple Cross said that yesterday morning (Thursday, January 9) the 7.45am service from Downings Wood, Maple Cross to Watford Junction did not even show up, leaving children late for school.

He added: “If buses run really late they will cut out the area to restart the timings. This whole new timetable is just causing mayhem.

“I feel sorry for passengers, especially elderly people as I think they are being let down by the service.”

Mr Lambert added that the Iceland bus stop between Maple Cross and Watford had been scrapped, meaning passengers were having to walk a further distance to Marks and Spencers in order to get the bus.

But Aariva says the bus stop is still served hourly by the 520 service from Watford towards Maple Cross.

Meanwhile on the 320 bus that runs between Rickmansworth, Watford and Hemel Hempstead, there were only minor changes made to the timetable in a bid to improve reliability.

But Mr Lambert said it's only morning service from Downings Wood that is meant to depart at 8.17am has run late by an hour, making children late for schools in Rickmansworth.

And he said the 3.20pm service that is meant to pick the children up is also late and usually so full that it must miss out on several bus stops within Rickmansworth.

Mr Lambert added: “Bosses at Arriva think they know what is good, but they do not drive the bus and they don’t know what they are doing.”

Gavin Hunter, area managing director for Arriva Herts and Essex, said: "We can confirm that service 520 now runs hourly between Maple Cross and Watford. 

"Customers travelling beyond Rickmansworth from Maple Cross with a Zonal ticket can change at Rickmansworth Station and onto a 320 with no additional cost.

"In addition, there is one 320 journey departing Maple Cross towards Watford at 08:17, and a return service which leaves Watford at 18:45 to Maple Cross.

“In relation to fares, we are constantly reviewing our services to accommodate the needs of our passengers. Our fares are revised each year, and with each fare revision we aim to balance value for money for our customers while securing the long term sustainability of our services.

"As part of our most recent review, a number of fares changed across our Essex and Hertfordshire network. Customers were made aware of these changes via our ticketing apps, social media channels, and posters on board our buses.”