INCENSED residents fear the loss of a bus could leave them marooned.

From January 21, the 21 bus from Runcorn to Chester will turn around in Helsby and no longer serve Beechwood.

Passengers will be left with an hourly service provided by the X30.

One man said: “I rely on the 21 to go from Beechwood to Halton Hospital. It is very convenient.”

A woman, from Beechwood, added: “I don’t drive and use the 21 to go to work.

“It’s ridiculous to cut out this bus. There are a lot of older people on this estate.”

A spokesman for Arriva said: “The X30/21 have been experiencing a fall in passenger numbers for some time and have had some reliability issues.

“It’s for these reasons why we have had to adjust the route of the 21 to maximise its efficiency. We look at lots of passenger and running time data before deciding to alter any route.

“To improve reliability it would have meant putting another bus into the schedule which would have made it not commercially viable and as there is generally no outside funding available from the local authorities.

“In this case Cheshire West and Chester, due to their budget constraints, we had to look for an alternative solution.

“Reducing the length of the route we believe addresses the problem as it will free some time up to help reliability but also still remains operating where the bulk of the passengers are.

“We continually monitor our services to see if we can make improvements and as such will be monitoring this change when it comes into effect and if needs be will make further changes if necessary.”