I fully share Angus Macarthur’s concerns over the proposed withdrawal of essential bus subsidies reported in the Chichester Observer, as my family depend
upon the subsidised Sunday and evening 60 bus.
However, I do not agree ‘we do not really need buses every 15 minutes during the day’.
Buses can be late and break down, and I wouldn’t want to extend an uncertain wait, especially on a dual carriageway, for a delayed or cancelled 700 bus.
Reducing the availability of subsidised bus services in this area will have a serious impact on the social and economic mobility of people without cars.
The proposed axing of the hourly 60 Sunday bus service between Chichester and Midhurst, isolating large villages like Lavant, would make travel on this day impossible for people relying on buses, and discriminate against the infirm, the elderly, the young , the disabled and vulnerable, including those choosing to encourage a greener alternative by abandoning the
car, especially on Sundays and public holidays.
The Monday to Saturday 54 Countryliner bus between Chichester and Petersfield is also threatened, infrequent as it is. More bus cuts will make a mockery of the government’s green agenda.
Employees without cars unable to car-share who work in rural areas on Sundays and evenings, will be hard hit, as will their employers.
Walkers and tourists using the Sunday Chichester to Midhurst 60 bus service to access huge swathes of the Southdown National Park and the numerous attractions held at West Dean College and Gardens and The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, will become disenfranchised on Sundays and bank holidays from September 2011.
Axing the weekly evening 60 bus between Chichester and Midhurst after 6.30pm will prevent students with no transport in outlying areas from attending evening classes at further and higher education colleges in Chichester, Midhurst
Remember: there is no rail link between Chichester and Midhurst.
More car use will also lead to increased traffic and road congestion, and ever more demand for more car parking spaces and bypasses.
WSCC must continue to subsidise essential bus services. And we have only until June 10 to ask the councillors to think again.