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Arriva Depot Closures

Posted on March 14, 2023

Reading time: 6 minutes.

Last month, Arriva announced the planned closure of its Oswestry, Winsford and Macclesfield depots. The first of these does not have as much of an impact as the others, the news of which has been featured on the BBC, in the Macclesfield Express and in Buses magazine.

The closure of the Oswestry depot will mean that many services will be based in Shrewsbury instead, with some being transferred to one or more other operators. The latter the following:

  • 449 Oswestry - Welshampton

  • 54 Oswestry - Cefn Y Blodwel

  • 71 Oswestry - Four Crosses

  • 79a Oswestry - Porth-Y-Waen

  • 405 Oswestry - Windsor Road

There is talk of handing over school services and the reduction in patronage of 46% is blamed. Contacts with Shrewsbury County Council apparently proved fruitless, possibly because public spending is heavily constrained at the moment.

The impact of the Cheshire closures is more serious since any services that Arriva currently operate will need replacement. Again, the cause apparently is a reduction in patronage and public spending constraints necessarily limit local councils’ ability to provide additional financial support. The affected services include the following:

  • 1 Northwich Circular via Rudheath and Weaverham

  • 3 Macclesfield - Weston

  • 4 Barnton to Leftwich and Kingsmead via Northwich

  • 4 Macclesfield - Upton Priory

  • 5 & 6 Macclesfield - Broken Cross

  • 6 Leighton Hospital - Shavington

  • 7 Winsford Local Circular

  • 9 Macclesfield - Moss Rose

  • 10 Macclesfield - Bollington

  • 31 Northwich - Winsford - Crewe

  • 37 Northwich - Winsford - Sandbach - Crewe

  • 38 Crewe - Macclesfield

  • 84 Crewe - Nantwich/Chester

D&G Bus has registered replacement services for routes 1, 10, 31 and 37 as well as changing their own routes 12 and 38 in response. They have a place on their website for collating information on what they plan to do and warn that things may change as the whole changeover progresses. The company also mentions service 84 in its plans, but Cheshire East Council has included details of a Stagecoach registration for service 84. This will be a Monday to Saturday 84 service that is hourly between Crewe and Chester and half-hourly between Crewe and Nantwich, with last buses leaving for the day at around 19:00 or 19:30.

Cheshire East Council also provides these further details of affected bus routes in their area:

Service Route Days Frequency
3 Macclesfield - Weston Estate Monday to Saturday Half-hourly
4 Macclesfield - Upton Priory Monday to Saturday Half-hourly
5, 6 Macclesfield - Weston / Upton Priory Monday to Saturday Early morning & Evening
6 Brookhouse - Leighton Hospital Monday to Saturday Half-hourly (evening services operated under CEC Contract)
9 Macclesfield - Moss Rose Monday to Saturday Half-hourly
10 Macclesfield - Bollington Monday to Saturday Half-hourly
31 Crewe - Winsford - Northwich Monday to Saturday Hourly
37 Crewe - Winsford - Northwich Monday to Saturday Hourly (evening services operated under CEC Contract)
38 Crewe - Congleton - Macclesfield Monday to Saturday Hourly (evening services operated under CEC Contract)
84 Crewe - Nantwich - Chester Monday to Sunday Every 20 mins between Crewe and Nantwich and hourly between Crewe and Chester

Quite how much of these gets replaced remains to be seen, but councils have to remain somewhat aloof from the efforts of commercial operators even if it becomes a messy process until things settle down afterwards. The planned withdrawal of Arriva from Cheshire East and from much of Cheshire West and Chester council areas is set to happen on 2023-04-23, with the previous day seeing the end of their operations. That means there is time yet for more things to be set in place and there is a petition against the closures that may or may not have an effect. My expectation is that the exits will happen, but this story will run for a while yet.

Update on 2023-03-30

First Potteries has registered a new service 6 between Crewe and Leighton via Bradfield Road, so all the Arriva services around Crewe appear to be getting coverage, even if evening service details have yet to come. What also remains outstanding are nay details of replacements for Macclesfield town services 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Uncertainty remains, so there could be more confusion before everything becomes clear.

Update on 2023-04-02

High Peak will be introducing service 14A to cover for the soon-to-be withdrawn service 9 between Macclesfield Bus Station and Moss Rose. Two hourly extensions to Langley will be offered on service 14, which will follow the same route as 14A for the shared portion, ensuring that a half-hourly frequency will remain available.

Also, D&G Bus is changing its service 19 to go via Upton Priory to replace the soon-to-be withdrawn service 4. Since service 19 will operate mainly with a two-hourly frequency, service 19A is to be offered between Macclesfield Bus Station and Upton Priory to ensure that an hourly service level will remain.

All of these will be Monday to Saturday services only, and it remains to be seen what will happen to those routes that serve Weston or what becomes of any Sunday or subsidised evening services. However, there will be a D&G Bus service X31 running between Winsford (including its estates) and Northwich on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Update on 2023-04-12

Evening journeys get Cheshire East Council financial support on services 37 and 38. Those on the former only go between Sandbach and Winsford while those on the latter cover the entire route.

There will be Sunday daytime journeys on route 84 with some extra evening Monday to Saturday services as well, following financial support from both Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West & Chester council. Everyone gets free travel on the first week that Stagecoach operates the service, too.

There is nothing on Macclesfield Weston service yet, but there is a tantalising slot reserved for service 3 in Macclesfield bus station in the new allocation, so anything could happen yet. That bus station allocation shows several empty bays, a startling reminder of how the bus network has declined over the last decade or so.

Update on 2023-04-17

D&G Bus will take over service three between Macclesfield bus station and Weston as well, so that bus station stance allocation was a hint of things to come. Otherwise, service 12 between Leighton Hospital, Crewe and Shavington gains council-contracted Monday to Friday evening journeys while service one gains an extra early evening journey between Northwich and Weaverham following from council financial support. Since the changeover is just a week away, one has to wonder is the new network is fully announced by now. If anything more does come up, it will get added here.

Update on 2023-04-24

There is just one last minute development to add: D&G Bus have added a service 84X between Crewe and Nantwich. Details on the Cheshire East Council website are a little confused, but this runs up to hourly on Sundays and half-hourly on other days of the week. It will operate free of charge until 2023-04-29, and I am left wondering if we now have competition between different bus operators. Is D&G trying to keep Stagecoach out of its area? Only time will answer that question.