SCORES of bus-users have signed a petition to seek the return of an hourly service through West Meads.
The petition urges bus operator Stagecoach to re-instate the Star 2 route. It will be axed and replaced by two new services. But these will split the previous service into two halves – and will run only every other hour.
Resident Gweneth Dennison told Aldwick Parish Council’s annual electors’ meeting last Thursday (April 25) the changes had annoyed some of those who relied on the Star 2.
“Nobody really seemed to know what was going on,” she said. “The way the information was leaked out was very confusing and upset many people.”
The petition was launched by Paul Wells, an Arun district councillor for Aldwick East, with the support of West Meads Residents’ Association.
“I’m going to be seeking a meeting with Stagecoach to talk about the changes,” he said. “The loss of the hourly service in West Meads is going to affect a lot of people that want to go to Bognor Regis.
“A service every two hours is pretty much useless. It will be no good for people who want to go to the doctors at West Meads. They could face a long wait for a bus after their appointments.”
Petition forms are available in West Meads Community Centre and West Meads Post Office.
The Star 2 route has stayed unchanged since October 2008. It saw 11 buses connect West Meads and Stroud Green with the town centre between 7am-5.30pm Mondays to Saturdays.
The new service 61 will see five buses from West Meads and Stroud Green to Bognor from 8.25am-4.10pm.
Service 62 will go from Rose Green to the town centre seven times daily from 7.50am-5.16pm. Some journeys will also go to Sainsbury’s on Shripney Road thanks to funding from the retailer.
A new circular route, service 65, will join North and South Bersted with Sainsbury’s four times between 9.30am-3.30pm.
A Stagecoach spokeswoman said: “From May 4, Stagecoach are introducing a revised bus network in Bognor. Working in partnership with Sainsbury’s, customers will benefit from free buses to and from the store on services 61, 62 and 65.
“Unfortunately, we have been forced to reduce the frequency along some routes due to low passenger numbers.”