Disabled grandmother's shock at finding out National Express coach will no longer stop in Worthing

A disabled grandmother has spoken of her shock after finding out a National Express coach will no longer stop in Worthing from next month.

Jean Baltzer, 73, who lives at Airedale Court in Heene Road, Worthing, has used the 315 National Express coach to visit her family in Bournemouth for more than 20 years.

Jean Baltzer at the bus stop in Worthing. Photo by Derek Martin

Jean Baltzer at the bus stop in Worthing. Photo by Derek Martin

From April 1, the service will no longer stop at Worthing seafront, near the Dome Cinema at Marine Parade, National Express confirmed on Thursday (March 21).

The decision was made based on passenger figures, a spokesman said, which are ‘simply not viable, to keep running the section of the service’.

Read more here: This National Express coach will no longer stop in Worthing from next month

Jean, a blue badge holder, who uses a rollator walking frame to get around, uses the coach to visit her sons and grandchildren in Bournemouth every four to six weeks.

Jean Baltzer. Photo by Derek Martin

Jean Baltzer. Photo by Derek Martin

She said: "I was told when I went into the office to make bookings - I was shocked, and the staff said they were just as shocked as I was.

"To my mind someone has not put enough thought to what is going to happen to hundreds of people who won't be able to come up to the town anymore. It is not just us going down.

"So many people use it, and not just older people, university students use it as well. The coaches are always full."

The 315 service, which runs from Eastbourne to Cornwall, currently picks up passengers at Worthing seafront once a day at 9.20am.

Jean will be making her last journey to Bournemouth on March 30, but her son will have to drive her back.

"I am stranded," she said, adding: "It is a big concern, not just for myself, but for so many people - I feel deeply shocked over it.

"I am 73, I am disabled, and I find this very worrying, as many people will, they come in wheelchairs some of them, and it is a great discomfort for a lot of people to be put through this."

Jean said if passengers in Worthing now want to get to the west they will have to go to Brighton by 8.30am in the morning to catch a coach. The coach then goes to Victoria railway station to collect more passengers, and then down, she said.

She said she has not used a train for 30 years and feels 'nervous' at the idea. "They are unreliable," she said, adding: "I can drive, but for me, to go on those motorways would be horrendous. I never thought this was going to happen, it has always been busy on the coaches.

"I feel so concerned about so many people who don't know about this. People aren't going to know if they don't go in the office.

"Even if we have one coach a week running, or two, it would be better than nothing."

A spokesman for National Express said: "We appreciate some people will be disappointed and while it won’t be as convenient, there is the option to join an alternative service to Bournemouth in Brighton or Chichester.

“Although there are no immediate plans to reinstate the service, we will keep this decision under review.”