Bus services through Aldwick and Pagham could be scrapped

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EVENING and Sunday bus services through Aldwick and Pagham could be scrapped.

The 60 route which connects those areas to Chichester and Midhurst is among those being targeted for cuts.

The proposals mean all Monday to Saturday journeys after 6.30pm and every bus on Sundays would disappear.

The cutback was suggested by West Sussex County Council on Tuesday as it seeks to reduce the subsidies it pays to bus companies.

But Pagham resident Patrick Corrigan, 52, of The Parade, said the reduction would leave a lot of people cut off from public transport.

“It would be terrible. I would be stuck here because I don’t drive,” he said. “I use the 60 up to three times a week in the evenings, sometimes to get up to Chichester, and on Sundays as well for family visits to Felpham.

“I would like to see as much of the service kept as possible.”

The 60 buses run every hour between about 7pm and 11pm on Mondays to Saturdays, from Elmer to Midhurst, and hourly from Bognor town centre from about 9am-6pm on Sundays.

But they depend on grants from the county council to pay their costs.

The council has begun an impact assessment to find out how scrapping the subsidised services to save £2m around the county will affect passengers. The savings will start from this September but will be phased in over three years.

Passengers on the selected services have been asked to explain by June 10 how the changes are likely to affect them.

Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council’s deputy leader with responsibility for highways and transport, said: “We very much regret having to reduce these subsidies.

“But I must stress that, although the county council is withdrawing some subsidies, it may not mean an end to the service.

“We are working with the bus companies to look at all possible alternatives. In some cases, it might be possible for services to continue running with a fare increase, or a reduced number of buses if the bus operators find a way to absorb the cost themselves.

“We are also keen to work with local residents and community transport schemes to look at alternative ways for people to make their journeys.”

Details of the routes that might be affected from September 2011 will be available online at www.westsussex.gov.uk/buses as well as in local libraries and Help Points.

People can also call 01243 642105, email buses@westsussex.gov.uk or write to: Buses, Have Your Say, FREEPOST RSBK-CHTU-KGGG, West Sussex County Council, Chichester, PO19 1RQ