BREAKING NEWS: Bus cuts deadline extended

AS PREDICTED in today’s County Times - an announcement on bus cuts has just been made.

West Sussex County Council have pushed their consultation deadline back to the end of June.

People will now have until Friday June 24 to take part in an ‘impact assessment’ to gather information on the effect the £2 million reductions will have.

Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council Deputy Leader with responsibility for Highways and Transport, said: “The exercise has generated a great deal of interest, with many people offering very detailed responses full of valuable information and useful suggestions.

“One of the messages we have received is that people do not feel we have given them enough time to comment. We’ve looked at this and I hope this two-week extension will give more people the time they need to respond.”

It’s thought of the 24 million bus journeys made every year in West Sussex the reductions could affect around two million trips.

The £2m savings will be phased in over a three-year period. Reductions planned for this financial year were due to take effect from September 2011. However the County Council has now said this year’s reductions will be put in place from October 2011.

Lionel added: “We want to make sure we give ourselves enough time to carefully consider all the comments and suggestions received, especially as the impact assessment period has now been extended.

“We are working hard with the bus operators to investigate all the alternatives to try and keep services running wherever possible. We hope the comments we are receiving from the public can help this process.”

Details of the routes that might be affected from October 2011 are available online at www.westsussex.gov.uk/buses as well as in local libraries and Help Points.

People can also make comments by calling 01243 642105, emailing buses@westsussex.gov.uk or writing to: Buses, Have Your Say, FREEPOST RSBK-CHTU-KGGG, West Sussex County Council, Chichester, PO19 1RQ.