Arriva has come under fire from residents of Tilsworth after the announcement that it is pulling the village’s only bus service.
As of March 12, the Route 70, which currently runs from Luton to Milton Keynes is to be replaced by the F77 - which does not include a stop in Tilsworth.
Residents are now up in arms as they claim they have been given little notice of the change, while being left “cut off” from their friends and important services, as their village has no shop.
Resident Colin Quantrill, claimed: “Arriva have suggested that we get the bus a mile and a half away, the other side of Stanbridge.
“But some of the elderly residents can’t walk that far. They only announced the changes online, but many residents don’t have the internet!
“People rely on the buses for prescriptions, hospitals, doctors and shopping. A lot of residents are really going to be stuffed!”
Another resident claimed: “A better solution to the services might have been the scrapping of the F70, which simply races from one urban area to the other with few stops in between and keeping the 70 which serves small communities.
“Well done Arriva for the worst possible solution to the problem”.
Linsey Frostick, General Manager, Arriva Luton: “The withdrawal of our Route 70 services from Tilsworth comes following a major review of all our services, during which it became apparent that consistently low passenger numbers boarding this specific service in the village made it commercially unviable for us to continue operating it as it was.
“This is one of a number of changes we are making to Route 70, which are being implemented to create a faster, more efficient link between Luton and Milton Keynes, via Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard. This service will be renamed the F77 to reflect the alterations we are making.
“Despite no longer calling at Tilsworth, an amended route 32 will provide off-peak facility to most stops which will no longer be served by rerouted F77.
“We do recognise that this decision will impact on those passengers who did travel from Tilsworth village; however this is not a course of action which we are taking without due care and consideration, but following robust, lengthy monitoring, and in the best interests of our business.”
An Arriva spokeswoman added: “The ‘new’ F77 is a rerouted version of the 70.
“It contains a number of omissions in order to provide a fast service up to every 30 mins (weekdays) between Leighton Buzzard Dunstable and Luton.
“The re-routed 32 picks up at a number of the stops now omitted along the F77 route.”
F77 will serve Stanbridge village to Luton, Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard and Milton Keynes.