Residents of Maple Cross and Rickmansworth have been left stranded by new plans from bus operator Arriva to merge two services into one.
Currently, the 320-bus service goes from the Berry Lane Estate to Watford via, Rickmansworth, and Hemel Hempstead among others every half an hour. The 520 service follows another route from Maple Cross to Watford on the hour.
Amidst rumours the services were to close however, RickyNews contacted Arriva, upon which we got this response:
“From 17th April these services will be replaced by an extended service 321, which will run twice an hour from Berry Lane Estate and once an hour from Maple Cross, which will provide a 20-minute frequency from Rickmansworth Town Centre to Croxley Green, Watford, North Watford, St Albans and then on to Luton.”
Though there has been relief among resident that’s fears of the services as a whole being called, many are still displeased.
Maple Cross resident Roger Bird said in an email to RickyNews: “My grandson, who lives in Maple Cross, has to walk as far as Moneyhill Parade to catch the 520 bus before 7am, which then takes him to Hemel Hempstead, where he is attending a course at West Herts College.
“It is the only way of getting direct to Hemel and the buses run every 30 minutes. The course that he attends is not available at the Watford Campus. When the 520 service is withdrawn, how will he be able to get to college in Hemel?”
Another resident, Kim Allen, said: “I feel sorry for the elderly and infirm or disabled who will now have to get 2 buses, especially as they possibly won’t be able to afford taxis.
“In this age of climate change and the resultant need for sustainability our public transport services should be improving, not getting worse?”
One resident, Sheetal Lakhani, complained about the general lack of public transport in Maple Cross as a whole, saying: “Maple Cross is so cut off and an hourly bus service really doesn’t make sense.
“Many children go to schools and further education establishments outside of the area and transport links from the area are appalling.”
Picture credit Aubrey