What happened to the number 50 Graylingwell bus?
What happened to the number 50 Graylingwell bus? A West Sussex County Council spokesperson has explained why changes to a Chichester bus service were implemented.
The county-wide aspect
"The majority of bus services in West Sussex are run commercially but some routes received funding from the county council to help them run.
"We know how important bus services are to residents and we are continuing to provide £2.27million in bus service subsidies.
"The county council faces an unprecedented financial challenge. Funding from central government is decreasing whilst demand for our services is increasing. We have faced difficult decisions over subsidised bus services but have made these only after carrying out thorough research and consultation.
"A bus user survey was held to help understand which services are of the greatest benefit to residents. More than 4,300 responses were received which helped identify any impact that users could face if the services were changed.
"The current situation with the number 50: The number 50 runs from Chichester Bus Station to Graylingwell and Summersdale via the Cathedral and the University.
"The current service is half hourly, Monday to Saturday, with Graylingwell also having evenings and Sunday buses (there are no evening and Sunday buses to Summersdale)."
Why the changes?
"The 50 has been mostly funded by developer contributions from the Graylingwell housing development for more than eight years.
"This enabled a seven-day-a-week service to be provided. It was hoped that there would be enough passengers for the Graylingwell buses to be run on a fully commercial basis by this stage but, unfortunately, this has not been the case.
"The sad fact is that there have not been enough fare-paying passengers.
"The entire evening and Sunday service was funded by the developer. WSCC also put in some funding amounting to around 15% of the total to maintain the Monday to Saturdaydaytime service to Summersdale."
What will be provided?
"The number 50 will be reduced to hourly, Monday to Saturday daytime, running between Chichester Cathedral and Graylingwell/Summerdale only, with the evening and Sundaybuses withdrawn.
"It will operate in conjunction with service 46/47 from Chichester Cathedral to Parklands and East Broyle. This will allow an hourly service to be maintained on both routes, using a singlevehicle.
"Since 2011/12, the county council does not, as a matter of policy, fund evening and Sunday buses.
"It is important to stress that the alternative to running this reduced service on the 46/47 and 50 might have been the total withdrawal of both routes. Alternative buses are available on service 60 along the A286 Broyle Road, which also has evening and Sunday buses."