VOTE: Are the Five Villages poorly served by buses?

C130147-1 Bog Feb7 Buses phot kate''Gary Norton dismayed about the lack of buses in his area.Photograph by Kate Shemilt.C130147-1
C130147-1 Bog Feb7 Buses phot kate''Gary Norton dismayed about the lack of buses in his area.Photograph by Kate Shemilt.C130147-1

BUS user Gary Upton wants to see better services for the Five Villages.

Mr Upton said the frequency of buses to Westergate, Aldingbourne, Eastergate and Barnham was dreadful despite it being the largest area of parishes in the country.

“We have one bus service that goes all the way from Bognor Regis to Walberton, turns round and goes back again, leaving no time for anything like shopping.

“There’s no shuttle service like there is on the Star 1, 60, 51 and 700, and buses to Selsey, which run every 15 minutes, serving less people.

“For a south coast resort, where people might want to go to the beach or Chichester Festival Theatre, the last bus is about 5.40pm.

“What sort of advert is this for the resorts and the promotion of Bognor in particular?

“What has happened is that more people have been forced on to the roads in their cars on the narrow and twisting, and sometimes, flooded A29, causing long tailbacks from the Woodgate level crossing to Eastergate.”

The villages’ main bus service is the Stagecoach 66. There are eight journeys a day from 7am to 5.40pm in a round trip from Bognor. This runs under contract from West Sussex County Council.

Compass Bus also runs four journeys a day with the 85 service between Arundel and Chichester.

A spokesman for the county council said: “Outside Worthing, Crawley and other large towns, there are only limited evening bus services across the region. Without considerable funding from the county council, it is difficult for bus operators to run profitably unless large numbers of passengers make use of the services. Funding for buses in West Sussex has been reduced over the last two years.

“This means that, although the bus operators and the county council have worked hard to minimise the effects on bus users, it is unlikely more buses will be put in place serving Westergate or other similar-sized 
villages.”

The council has produced a community led transport toolkit www.westsussex.gov.uk/transporttoolkit to help people explore alternative travel solutions.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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