Beach bus service cuts ‘easy target’ for council cutbacks

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Cost-cutting measures impacting on Shoreham bus services are short-sighted and easy targets, a councillor has claimed.

West Sussex County Council has launched a survey over the potential withdrawal of some subsidised services because of falling passenger numbers.

Evening journeys after 5.25pm on the Compass 19 route between Shoreham Beach and Holmbush could be axed, while the 108 service between Shoreham, Steyning and Horsham could be cut.

The changes to the 19 route, which links the Beach with the town, has drawn criticism from district council Marine ward councillor Joss Loader.

Mrs Loader said: “The number 19 is the only bus service that links Shoreham Beach with the town and it needs investment to make it regular and more reliable. As it is, we have no Sunday service and nothing after 7pm.

“It’s incredibly short-sighted of WSCC to consider stopping the only bus service linking the town and Beach as early as 5.25pm.

The councillor pointed to Adur’s ‘immense pressure’ to provide more housing, which if built would increase traffic.

She added: “County Hall should be encouraging people to use public transport and to leave their cars at home so why they would terminate the number 19 at 5.25pm is beyond me as many are still travelling home.

“I’d call on West Sussex to actually work with the district council and local people – in a meaningful way – and to look at the longer term picture, rather than picking on easy targets simply to cut costs.”

County council cabinet member for highways and transport Bob Lanzer urged residents to fill in the survey.

He said the results would be used to determine any potential measures.

“If you use any of these services and have something to tell us, please take part in the survey,” he said.

To take part, visit https://haveyoursay.westsussex.gov.uk/highways-and-transport/bussurvey

Alternatively, call 033022 25442 or email buses@westsussex.gov.uk

The closing date for responses is Sunday, December 18. What do you think? Email your thoughts to news@shorehamherald.co.uk