Move would see operator no longer delivering services in Winsford, Northwich, Crewe and Macclesfield.
Arriva North West has announced that it is consulting with affected employees on a proposal to close its Winsford and Macclesfield depots. The move, if confirmed, would see the shutting of the depots with Arriva unfortunately no longer operating any bus services in the Winsford, Northwich, Crewe and Macclesfield areas.
Both depots have been loss-making since before the pandemic and the number of journeys taken by passengers in the areas served by the depots has not recovered to the same levels as comparable operations following the pandemic. This is alongside the bus sector facing sustained and significant cost inflation meaning that revenue from the operations doesn’t cover the costs of running the operations.
Arriva North West has undertaken extensive actions to try and turn around these challenges, including launching a largely new network in November 2021 but unfortunately these steps have not delivered the required improvement.
Arriva North West has worked closely with Cheshire East and Cheshire West councils to explore all options to avoid closures but regretfully has not been able to find a way forward to return the depots to a financially sustainable position. In addition to this, while Bus Service Improvement Plans were developed to bid for government support to help increase bus ridership, unfortunately both Cheshire West and Cheshire East were unsuccessful in securing funding.
Affected employees and stakeholders have now been notified that a consultation is underway on closing the sites.
A spokesperson for Arriva North West Bus said:
“It is with great regret we announce we are consulting our highly valued team on the closure of our Winsford and Macclesfield depots which, if confirmed, would mean we would no longer operate any bus services in the Winsford, Northwich, Crewe and Macclesfield areas.
Withdrawing services and closing depots are always a very last resort. This very difficult decision has been taken following exhaustive steps to turn around the loss-making services but with consistently too few customers to cover the increased cost of running services it is sadly necessary to launch a consultation with affected employees on closing the depots.
Our priority throughout this process is that everything runs as smoothly as possible, for both our customers and our colleagues.
If the depots are closed, Arriva would work with Cheshire East, Cheshire West and, if routes transition from Arriva, any new operators.
“We have put in place support for our colleagues through this difficult time, including assisting with transferring to any other local Arriva depots”.
Customers wanting more information should www.arrivabus.co.uk/nwdepots