CHANGES to a ‘lifeline’ bus service will be detrimental to Buckley, the town’s manager has warned.

The Leader reported last week how a new travel arrangement replaced Buckley’s shopper bus on February 1.

It means the once hourly service has been reduced to two services (to include an outbound and inbound journey each) per day for whichever of the three routes were on offer that particular day.

Andy White, Buckley town centre manager, has now told the Leader: “It is not going to have a positive effect - it is going to be detrimental.

“The town, like all towns, is suffering the changes of online shopping.

“Buckley has always been a services town historically - not a market town - and I think these changes will impact on the elderly getting to and from the town to use those services.

“Going forward, I would have hoped there could be a rethink and hopefully all parties can get together and re-evaluate this.”

Cllr David Ellis, mayor of Buckley, said: “I have been on to the officer in charge of this, drawn to her attention some problems and she has said they are going to have people going on buses to meet users and to actually address what their concerns were.

“One concern is wheelchair and walker access. It is essential that the service meets the needs of the users of the bus.

“My concern is that a lot of people use the bus and it is a social event for them to interact with people.

“The current operator has the contract until July 31 and I believe they are in contact with officials from the council to make sure the service runs without problems.”

Regarding the impact the changes will have on the town centre, he added: “We’re looking for feedback in terms of what is working right and what is not.

“We will have to see how it is affecting the town centre.

“From our perspective it runs three days a week on the Southdown estate - Monday, Wednesday and Friday. That means people aren’t accessing town centre on a Saturday, or if they are it might be by taxi.

“There’s going to be less footfall. But it is early days yet. We really have to look at it and reassess it.”

At a recent consultation event over the service Cllr Arnold Woolley, deputy mayor of Buckley, also said he was concerned that the later start times of the new service could ‘’isolate people”.

Flintshire Council has been approached for a comment.