Voluntary group steps in to run Midhurst buses hit by cuts

A VOLUNTARY group which is helping to fill the gap left by funding cuts to Midhurst’s bus services has just announced its new timetable.

Midhurst Community Bus Association has just received permission from the Passenger Transport Executive to change its services following the funding cuts which were announced by West Sussex County Council at the end of August.

The association will be dropping its Wednesday service and instead providing an ‘around town’ service on Mondays – its usual Thursday service.

Association chairman Nick Wheeler said the changes would come into effect from Saturday, October 1.

He said the association was also still investigating whether it could run a Sunday Chichester service to replace the Stagecoach number 60.

“It is going to have to go to the Passenger Transport Executive to get permission for that and it depends if they give us authority.

“But we wouldn’t be stopping in-between Chichester and Midhurst as that would not be in the spirit of the community bus.”

Mr Wheeler said he hoped people would be pleased and that in particular the changes were aimed at replacing the loss of the DoRis on a Monday.

Taking on the changes depends on volunteers and Mr Wheeler said at the moment, the volunteer situation was ‘reasonable’, but they were always looking for more people to give up their time and help keep the services running.

“It’s reasonable, although it’s never as healthy as we would like,” he said.

“We are always looking for more escorts and we need drivers during the week.”

Timetables have been circulated in the town and will also be available from the Information Centre, the Grange, council offices, the library, Riverbank Medical Centre and Budgens.

Anyone who would like more information should call 07879 556568 or email enquiries@midhurstcommunitybus.org.uk

Information is also available on its website at www.midhurstcommunitybus.org.uk