Calls for bus lane to cross A27 bypass

Stagecoach South meeting with MEP: Stagecoach South managing director Edward Hodgson with Cllr Sarah Sharp, Green MEP for the South East Keith Taylor, operations manager Gordon Frost and commercial director Mark Turner.
Stagecoach South meeting with MEP: Stagecoach South managing director Edward Hodgson with Cllr Sarah Sharp, Green MEP for the South East Keith Taylor, operations manager Gordon Frost and commercial director Mark Turner.
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Stagecoach bosses have asked for a bus lane to help cut journey time for buses crossing the A27 into Chichester.

The suggestion came as part of a meeting today between the bus company and Green MEP Keith Taylor, who wanted to discuss sustainable options for public transport in the city.

Managing director of Stagecoach South, Edward Hodgson, said congestion on the A259 in particular was a key issue for those commuting into the city from Bognor.

He said: “We very much hope there’s a solution to get buses to the front of that queue.

“We recognise options like an underpass or a tunnel, with money, just aren’t going to happen, but journey time and punctuality is key for us.

“The frustrating thing is we’ve had to put more buses on the roads just to keep up existing frequencies because journey times are getting longer because of the added congestion.”

He said although a northern A27 route would have had ‘considerable number’ of issues, it might have been easier in some ways for bus traffic, which moves predominantly North/South rather than East/West.

The A27 is a barrier for buses travelling into the city from Selsey, Birdham, Bracksham, Bognor and surrounding areas, he said.

Mark Turner, commercial director of Stagecoach South, said putting on a new bus cost £70,000–£90,000 a year to run and journey time changed by as much as 10 minutes due to traffic at Fishbourne Roundabout.

Other issues raised by Mr Taylor and Cllr Sarah Sharp included fares for schoolchildren, Chichester Vision ideas to pedestrianise more of the city centre and a possible depo re-location to Terminus Road as part of the Southgate project.

What do you think? Email us at letters@chiobserver.co.uk or comment below.

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