Community Pulling Together To Reduce The Effect Of Bus Service Changes

Community Pulling Together To Reduce The Effect Of Bus Service Changes

Bus operators, councils and other community organisations have been working together to try to minimise the effect of a funding reduction for bus service subsidies.

Most bus services in West Sussex are commercially operated, but some routes receive county council funding to help them run. This costs £2.57million a year.

In common with other local authorities across the country, the county council faces an unprecedented financial challenge. Funding from central government is decreasing whilst demand for our services is increasing.

The council has reviewed all the bus services, or the parts of the commercial services, it has supported in line with its newly-adopted bus strategy for 2018 to 2026 and reduced the total subsidy by £300,000: to £2.27million.

Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “We have been working really hard to try to limit the impact this will have for passengers and I would like to thank the bus operators, district and parish councils and community groups who have been working with us on this. It’s important to stress that we are continuing to subsidise bus services in the county and, in the majority of cases where there are route changes, an alternative bus will be available fairly nearby. Last year, our bus user survey received more than 4,300 responses and we have been using this to help understand which services were of the greatest benefit to residents, so we could do everything possible to minimise the effect of the changes. Before the changes happen, we will be working with local communities to see what can be done to help any residents who don’t have alternative transport.”

If community organisations want to get involved to help, please email: buses@westsussex.gov.uk

The council is now agreeing the exact dates that services will change but it will not be before April, 2019. Full details of the planned changes are listed here: planned changes.

Details of all local bus services and community transport operators can be found on the county council website: bus information.