All aboard for ride on the Coastal Expressway

It will soon be 'all aboard the coastal express' in West Sussex as an improved way of linking coastal communities in the county by public transport moves ahead.

The 'Coastal Expressway' aims to improve public transport services, relieve congestion and enable sustainable regeneration.

A county council spokesman said it would be a fast and frequent high-tech bus service integrated with train services on the existing Stagecoach 700 route.

"Key features of the new service are likely to include bus priority measures at key junctions and traffic lights, as well as electronic displays for passengers, giving up-to-the-minute information," he added.

The South East England Regional Transport Board was supporting the project and had agreed to provide 10m on the condition it was 'match-funded' using local authority and developer contributions.

The scheme would begin in and around Shoreham with the section of the Coastal Expressway route between Worthing and Brighton being prioritised for completion.

Eventually, the project would be rolled out along the whole of the route covered by the 700 service, which runs from Brighton to Portsmouth, through both Chichester and Bognor Regis.

"The regeneration of the Shoreham Harbour area is part of the county council's long-term vision for the coast," the spokesman explained.

Partners Brighton and Hove City Council, Adur District Council and the Shoreham Port Authority were also involved in this.

Cllr Derek Whittington, county cabinet member for strategic planning and transport, said: "As a result of working with our colleagues at Brighton and Hove City Council, we anticipate being able to deliver elements of the project earlier than originally planned, which will benefit local communities.

"This project will bring a much higher quality public transport service to the Shoreham Harbour area, and also bring significant gains to residents in Brighton and Hove, and Worthing."

The county council continued to see improvements to public transport as a vital part of regeneration efforts along the coast of West Sussex.

Proposals were being developed for the remainder of Stagecoach 700 service which would build on the anticipated success of the section between Worthing and Brighton.

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