Rallying cry to fight cuts to Midhurst and Petworth bus services

PEOPLE in the Midhurst and Petworth area are being urged to make their protests heard as West Sussex County Council launches a survey on a third phase of proposed cuts in subsidies to bus companies.

The county announced earlier this year it would be reducing the subsidy it gives to bus companies for non-commercial routes by £2 million. It is part of a drive to reduce the county’s spending by £79m over three years.

Under the spotlight in the third phase of proposed cuts are the Compass route 69 from Loxwood to Pulborough, the popular 99 linking Petworth to Chichester and Stagecoach route 70 which links Midhurst, Fernhurst and Haslemere to Guildford.

Midhurst’s Chichester district councillor Gordon McAra urged parish councillors and bus users to make their voices heard to preserve the Midhurst to Guildford route at weekends and in the evening.

“This is a real killer for Midhurst as it will cut off students and workers if the evening service is truncated.”

He said he had already contacted the county council’s transport cabinet member Pieter Monteyn to plead for a reprieve.

“This service is crucial to many people who commute to work in London as well as students who use the colleges at Godalming and Guildford,” he said, adding that if the bus route was axed it would be a ‘real body blow’ to the area.

He urged members of the public to fill in the survey at www.westsussex.gov.uk/buses

Details can be obtained by calling 01243 642105 or emailing buses@westsussex.gov.uk The closing date is January 17, 2012.