THE bus service in Winsford has been labelled ‘disgraceful’ by a town councillor.

Cllr Malcolm Gaskill is unhappy with the provision that is being provided by Arriva after hearing reports of residents being late for work or even being left stranded because of buses breaking down or not turning up.

And he believes a review of the schedule could help solve the problem.

Malcolm said: “It’s disgraceful really and it has been this way for a while now and Arriva seem to be indifferent towards complaints.

“A resident contacted me because her bus that was due to arrive at 8am didn’t show up and because of that she has been late for work. Whenever I approach Arriva about this, I’m told that the bus broke down.

“If a bus starts at 6am, I don’t understand how it can break down by 8am, it begs the question about the maintenance on the buses that operate.”

The matter was raised at a town council meeting in April when a pensioner revealed that she was unable to get the bus back home from the town centre because it failed to turn up.

The council heard that there have also been problems for students of Sir John Deane’s Sixth Form College who were missing attendance due to the 29 and 31 buses failing to arrive.

Councillors agreed to write to Arriva to express their concern.

Cllr Gaskill said: “I think the timetable needs to be addressed as well. Cllr Charlie Parkinson was telling me that when he was at the train station waiting for a relative he saw that people were left stranded because a bus had left just one minute before the train arrived."

“Another issue is the service to Leighton Hospital. The last bus to Winsford from Leighton leaves 30 minutes before visiting time finishes. How are people supposed to get home?

“This is what residents have had to deal with for the past 18 months.

“People can’t be expected to rely on taxis because of how much the costs will add up especially when they should be able to make the journey on a bus.”

An Arriva spokesperson said: "We pride ourselves on running efficient and reliable services for all passengers, and take complaints very seriously.

"An internal investigation into this particular complaint is already underway to ensure relevant improvement plans are put into practice where necessary.
"Councillor Malcolm Gaskill is more than welcome to visit our Winsford depot if he would like to witness first hand how we monitor our services in the area."