Hemel Hempstead neighbours push for return of scrapped bus routes

Neighbours say a string of recent bus route changes in Hemel Hempstead have left them cut off or struggling to get home from work.

The 758 route now supplies three extra buses between the town and London during the day – but one fewer in the 5pm to 6pm return service from the capital.

Commuter Maggie Whitelock, of Sawyers Way, Adeyfield, said: “There are now 100 people fighting for the one 49-seater coach.”

She recently had to wait more than an hour for her trip home until the third bus arrived.

Meanwhile, 20 people – one of whom is 97 years old – have signed a letter to Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning and Arriva, calling for an axed stop in Turners Hill, Adeyfield, to be reinstated.

The letter says the Route 1 stop is at the bottom of a steep hill, and the nearest alternative stop is the top of it.

The letter says: “A lot of elderly, disabled and parents with young children and pushchairs use the service on a regular basis.

“It is their lifeline to the town and is a long walk for folk with trouble walking.”

Another hot potato is that the Route 3 bus now no longer stops in the lower part of Northridge Way or Fishery Road.

Valerie O’Ready, 67, of Cowper Road, Boxmoor, says it is now harder for her partner to reach Parkwood Drive Surgery in Warners End to be treated for his bad back.

She said: “I do not think the people who plan these routes know the area very well.

“I think they just sit by their little computers and do not travel by bus and do not know what it’s like to be elderly trying to get around.”

Arriva says it is working to resolve overcrowding on the 758 and will decide what to do next after reviewing all feedback on the changes.