Despite concerns bus service cuts to Midhurst on Sundays and bank holidays are set to hit tourism and isolate people without private transport, a series of axes are falling.
From Monday (May 29) a number of services will be cut or changed as they reach the end of their Local Sustainable Transport funding (LSTF).
Stagecoach’s 70 service from Midhurst to Haslemere on Sundays will be withdrawn
along with its Sunday 92 services from Midhurst to Petersfield.
The Compass Travel 99A Sunday route taking in Chichester–Tangmere–Petworth has already been withdrawn last month.
The Stagecoach No 1 service from Worthing to Pulborough to Midhurst is continuing to operate and at the same two hourly frequency, “but the timetable has been changed in one direction by being brought forward by one hour,” said a West Sussex County Council spokesman.
Also from Monday the commercially operated Stagecoach 60 Midhurst–Chichester – Bognor Regis service will be split at Chichester into two routes.
“The 60 will run from Midhurst to Chichester, while the Chichester to Bognor section will become new service 600,” said the spokesman.
He added: “LSTF ran out at the end of the last financial year for 70, 92,& 99A which were wholly supported on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Service 1 was commercially funded by Stagecoach from Worthing to Pulborough, and LSTF funded from Pulborough to Midhurst.
“Stagecoach decided there were sufficient passengers for the 1 service to continue commercially from Worthing to Midhurst.”
Last month community leaders urged the county council to step in and subsidise the services to save the threat to the town’s economy.
Senior Midhurst town councillor Carol Lintott said the decision was ‘awful’. “Removal of the Haslemere and Peterfield Sunday and Bank Holiday service reduces tourist and shopper numbers and will have a knock on effect to the many businesses open on these days.
“For many the working week isn’t just Monday-Friday so people needing to travel to work on Sundays will be affected as well those wanting connecting to railways stations.”
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