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Arriva Depot Closures

Posted on March 14, 2023

Reading time: 3 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.

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