Petition leads to the return of community-minded bus drivers

Roxanne Dagg,left and Pauline Gardner with a petition about the 32 bus in Buckingham.'110525M-D242
Roxanne Dagg,left and Pauline Gardner with a petition about the 32 bus in Buckingham.'110525M-D242

“WE want our friendly, helpful bus drivers back.”

That was the message from Buckingham people to bus company Arriva The Shires And Essex.

Local women Roxanne Dagg and Pauline Gardner were so upset that two of the well-loved drivers on the 32 and 32a bus routes had been redeployed to other routes in Milton Keynes that they decided to start a petition to get them back again.

Within a week, they had more than 300 signatures, on their petition, which they presented to Arriva in Milton Keynes last Friday.

And this week the Advertiser heard Arriva has decided to bring the two drivers, Sidney Major and Ray Pudney, back to Buckingham.

Mrs Dagg, aged 54, who lives in Linden Village, said the pair were extremely popular in the town, particularly with senior citizens.

Mrs Gardner, aged 46, who lives in Maids Moreton, said: “We don’t understand why they can’t keep Sid and Ray on. They’re very considerate, kind and helpful. They have a good relationship with the college kids and the old people.

“We call Sid ‘The Chief’ because he’s so polite and friendly, and the college kids and older people absolutely adore him. Ray is younger but he’s built up a good relationship with people. Now they’ve all been shunted about. The old people especially don’t like change.

“If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Mrs Dagg added: “We’re doing this for the people of Buckingham.It’s a real loss to the town. We’re all upset by it.”

They said the two drivers are a valuable asset to the community because they know their regular customers and will alert others if they don’t see them.

Arriva’s general manager in Milton Keynes, Maq Alibhai, told the Advertiser this week he had been delighted to learn how popular the two drivers were in Buckingham and was working to put them back on the route in the next fortnight.

He said: “Since the petition landed on my desk I am working very hard with the union to see how soon we can put these two drivers back on this route.”

“First and foremost we should be serving the customer.”