Axed Horsham bus service saved

Sussex Coaches bus
Sussex Coaches bus

An ‘extremely valuable’ Sunday bus service axed by a travel company last week has been saved.

The 17 Service between Horsham and Brighton was scrapped by operator Compass Travel on September 10 after it said the route was no longer financially viable.

However, Sussex Coaches has announced this week it will be taking over the service at a ‘reduced frequency’.

The route will continue to travel via Patcham, Henfield, Partridge Green, Cowfold and Mannings Heath but it will no longer be hourly.

A spokesman for Sussex coaches said: “We felt it was an extremely valuable service to the public in these areas and whilst we could not offer the existing frequency of service on a Sunday, we could offer a reduced frequency timetable to keep the service in operation on a Sunday.”

The new service will start on Sunday, September 17.

Derek Castle, from Mannings Heath, had been fighting to keep the service.

He said: “I’m absolutely over the moon but it’s only a reprieve as far as I’m concerned.

“It needs investing and it needs a push. I just hope people will use it.”

Services will depart from Horsham Bus Station at 09.30, 10.30, 12.30, 14.30 15.30, and 17.30 with a short service to Henfield at 18:15.

Buses will leave Brighton at 11.00, 13.00, 14.00, 16.00, 17.00 and 18.40, with a morning service departing from Henfield at 08:30 and 09:30.

The service used to be subsidised by West Sussex County Council.

Compass Travel said the council withdrew its support several years ago and it had ‘no choice but to stop the service’ as it had been running at a loss.

A council spokesman said: “We are pleased Sussex Coaches has decided to register a new service 17 on Sundays on a commercial basis. We understand how difficult it can be for commercial operators to sustain such bus services without a good level of patronage, so we hope residents will support it as much as possible.”

For more information call 01403 741976.