HALF of Harefield's bus drivers could lose their jobs after it emerged the company that operates the U9 will no longer run the service.
From December the U9 between Uxbridge and Harefield will be operated by Abellio London rather than Arriva. It is thought about six full-time and part-time drivers will go.
The U9 is a lifeline to many people for getting into and out of the village, and it is the only route that serves Harefield Hospital.
The 331 also stops in the village. That service is operated by First London from Uxbridge via Denham terminating at Ruislip, and will remain unchanged.
Wendy Rice-Morley, of Sanctuary Close, a governor at Harefield Academy, in Northwood Way, fears the change in operator of the U9 is bad news for the village.
She said: "It is really upsetting that we are going to have new drivers; they are part of our community.
"There are about six who have been here for several years and I have always found them very polite.
"They know all the trouble-makers and they know people personally, many of whom are elderly, and ask how their families are.
"They stop for people and don't drive off if they see somebody running to catch the bus. We will be upset to lose them.
"We want to know what kind of service will be provided by Abellio, whether it will be the same timetable, poorer - or better.
"It would be interesting if they do change it. At the moment, we have two buses which arrive more or less at the same time, so if you miss one then you have a fair wait."
Transport for London confirmed the changes will take place at the end of December.
It explained that every few years the service goes out to tender, allowing companies to make a bid. TfL said it had accepted a cheaper, more efficient bid from Abellio.
TfL said there were no plans to make any service alterations, and the new drivers would be the main difference.
Mrs Rice-Morley was also behind a campaign to get a north-south borough bus route extended to include the village.
It had originally been scheduled to run between Northwood and Heathrow Airport, missing out the village altogether, but was ultimately scrapped on cost grounds.
* What do you think of Harefield's current bus drivers? Email dancoombs@ trinitysouth.co.uk.