Call for more buses in Yapton and Barnham

Passengers with their petition  Photo: Kate Shemilt ks1500583-1
Passengers with their petition Photo: Kate Shemilt ks1500583-1

ISOLATED residents around Yapton and Barnham are signing up for more buses.

Hundreds of them of all ages have backed a petition which calls for a better frequency on the 66 service.

This connects the villages and the surrounding area with Bognor Regis town centre. It is run by Compass Travel with funding from West Sussex County Council.

The current schedule sees seven journeys a day Mondays to Saturdays from 7am until 5.30pm.

Pamela Sheils, of Goodacres in Barnham, is one of the petition’s organisers. She said it had reached more than 200 names in just over a week.

“People of all ages have been signing. Young people can’t go out after they have come home from college or school,” she said.

“It’s impossible for us to make doctors’ appointments or anything like that when the buses are only every two hours during the day. We have to plan every outing every day around the few bus services we get.”

It was impossible to do all the shopping in an hour before the next bus left after the arrival of the popular 11.15am, she said. Failure to catch it meant a wait until 2.35pm.

Yapton resident Grace Aldis, of North End Road, said: “The last bus through the villages is at 4.30pm. So, we can’t go anywhere.”

The petition can be signed at the optician and chemist in Barnham until the end of November. It will be presented to the county council.

A county council spokesman said: “We subsidise the number 66 bus for nearly £50,000 per year. This pays for one vehicle to be run by Compass Travel. To pay for another vehicle to increase the frequency would cost many tens of thousands of pounds.”

Compass recently added a second vehicle at its expense but, while valued, this failed to pay for itself.

Traditionally run on one bus, longer journey times had seen the timetable changed to fewer journeys a day, he said.