Cuts to bus services across Midhurst area revealed

The detail of cuts to bus services serving Midhurst and the surrounding areas have been revealed.

Thursday, 24th January 2019, 4:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:56 pm
Some bus services across West Sussex will be cut from April onwards after the county council decided to reduce public subsidies
Some bus services across West Sussex will be cut from April onwards after the county council decided to reduce public subsidies

Most bus services in the county are commercially operated, but some routes receive West Sussex County Council funding to help them run.

Last year the council agreed to cut its subsidies by £300,000 to £2.27million a year and adopted a bus strategy for 2018 to 2026.

Now it has revealed which services will be cut or changed from April onwards.

COMPASS TRAVEL 64 LOXWOODD - HORSHAM: Reroute the 64 service at Billingshurst to run via Coolham, Brooks Green and Barns Green, proceeding from there into Horsham. Five Oaks and Broadbridge Heath no longer served.

COMPASS TRAVEL 69 ALFOLD - WORTHING: Two days a week shopping bus to be re-timed to operate 30 minutes earlier and on Tuesdays and Fridays (currently Tuesdays and Thursdays).

COMPASS TRAVEL 93/96 MILLAND - MIDHURST (OPERATES ON FRIDAYS ONLY): Withdrawal of extremely poorly used services into Midhurst.

STAGECOACH 54 PETERSFIELD - CHICHESTER: Withdrawal of 07.34 journey from South Harting to Chichester, and return at 17.50 due to poor passenger numbers. New 06.00 journey from Chichester to Petersfield.

Roger Elkins, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “We have been working really hard to try to limit the impact this will have for passengers and I would like to thank the bus operators, district and parish councils and community groups who have been working with us on this.

“It’s important to stress that we are continuing to subsidise bus services in the county and, in the majority of cases where there are route changes, an alternative bus will be available fairly nearby.

“Last year, our bus user survey received more than 4,300 responses and we have been using this to help understand which services were of the greatest benefit to residents, so we could do everything possible to minimise the effect of the changes.

“Before the changes happen, we will be working with local communities to see what can be done to help any residents who don’t have alternative transport.”

If community organisations want to get involved to help they can email [email protected]

Lib Dem Kate O’Kelly, county councillor for Midhurst, who has lead the opposition to the cuts said: “Young people getting to school and college, working age people getting to work and our elderly residents all rely on our buses.

“There is a real chance that this decision will lead to more social isolation which will cost the Council more in the long run.”

Will you be affected? Email the newsdesk.