LETTER: What about the rural buses?
I am a member of several organisations that are campaigning for better public transport, for example the Campaign For Better Transport, Friends Of The Earth and Bus Users UK.
Not one of these has a branch in rural West Sussex and as someone who depends on public transport I am annoyed by this.
For example, Bus Users UK has a very active branch in Brighton and Hove. Its excellent newsletter covers buses in Worthing but not the rest of West Sussex.
I have a copy of the 1979 timetable book of Southdown Buses (now Stagecoach) so I can see what we have lost.
I recently received a Petersfield bus and train timetable book, this is printed by Cliffe Enterprise Ltd for the Hampshire County Council.
This is odd as I seldom travel by bus in Hampshire, although I do go to Rogate, the last village in West Sussex.
The booklet contains the timetable for Route 38 which serves Gilbert White’s village Selborne.
I last visited Selborne in 1977 when, as a teenager, I had a moped.
As Selborne is a congested village I hope that efforts are being made to improve bus access but there are just five weekday buses a day from Petersfield to Alton and more on Saturdays or Sundays.
To get there I have to get the 07.40 train from Worthing to Chichester, the 54 bus from Chichester to Sheet and the 38 bus from Sheet to Selborne.
The law forces bus and train companies to compete with each other but this is the sort of journey where the public transport industry should pull together.
I am pleased that the 54 bus runs all the way from Chichester to Petersfield via Uppark House.
In 1979 this bus went only between Compton and Chihcester. I have, as a member of the National Trust, often visited Uppark by bus. Sometimes I am the only passenger on this bus.