Carousel Buses’ agreement with Arriva to jointly run the One service on the High Wycombe, Amersham and Chesham corridor is to end. A message on the Go-Ahead Group owned operator’s website said: “We regret to inform our customers that Arriva have advised us that they do not wish to continue the agreement that currently exists between our companies.”
Joint operation of the route One will end on Monday 25 September. Following this date, the Red One and Blue One will be operated as separate services. This will also mean return tickets purchased on one service will no longer be accepted for travel on the other. The joint ‘One weekly’ ticket will cease to exist. Carousel is to continue accepting any Arriva Route One weekly tickets issued prior to 25 September until their expiry date, but will not be accepting any Arriva return tickets for travel from that date onwards. A statement on Carousel’s website said: “We will be introducing a new and improved Route One timetable from 29th October 2017 and we apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused by these changes, which unfortunately are outside of our control.”
MD of Carousel Buses, Phil Southall, said: “The jointly operated One service was a great example of operators working together to do things in the best interests of customers. Since the partnership began in 2013, we have worked together to expand the service through the introduction of a two-operator weekly ticket. We were very surprised and disappointed when Arriva advised us of their intention to withdraw, as up until that point we were always of the opinion that the partnership was strong. Arriva’s decision will negatively impact our customers, which is a great shame. The good news is that from the end of October, we will be increasing the frequency of our Monday to Friday services to reduce the impact on our customers.”
An Arriva Midlands statement said: “Arriva Midlands has announced changes to the company’s bus services on the number 1 route between High Wycombe and Chesham from Monday, September 25. The moves are designed to improve punctuality and minimise reliability issues with the number 1 route and provide an improved service which offers better value for money to customers.
“The frequency of Arriva buses on the route is to be increased, with services running every 20 minutes during the daytime rather than the current 30 minutes. Arriva’s recently extended High Wycombe Plus Zone means passengers can travel across the whole route for just £16 per week. The quality agreement has been temporarily suspended as Arriva look to see how we can deliver a joint timetable and improve punctuality and reliability given the fact that both the Red 1 and Blue 1 have different journey legs beyond Chesham. Arriva bus services on the number 1 route will no longer be accepting Carousel tickets from September 25.”