As someone who didn’t learn to drive until his late 20s, I totally understand the frustrations bus users have with missed buses, late buses and ever changing timetables.

To make sure local bus users voices were heard I organised local engagement sessions with constituents and Arriva in Watford to ensure Arriva heard them loud and clear and could address them directly.

One of the main issues raised was changes to timetables without consultation or warning. That’s why, earlier this year, I brought forward a ‘Bus Bill’ in Parliament to change the law to require bus operators to consult passengers before services are changed.

Given I had been vocal on this and raised concerns directly with Arriva, I was appalled that like many residents across Watford, I only learnt of the significant changes to the Arriva services via the press. In my view it was very disrespectful to local residents who were not consulted, and shows sadly they were not listening. It also reaffirms my belief that my ‘Bus Bill’ is sorely needed.

I can assure residents I won’t give up on this and have already raised this concern strongly when I met the Minister for Buses.

The additional frustration is that the Government are working hard to promote bus use, recently extending the £2 scheme until the end of 2024. Hertfordshire Council also received an investment of £1,488,381 in bus services across the area.

As the situation unfolds, I will continue to engage with Arriva and keep residents’ informed of any updates. If you would like to be added to my newsletter which will keep you updated, please email

  • Dean Russell is Conservative MP for Watford