County Times ‘helps save the 86 bus’ from council cuts

CAMPAIGNERS have thanked the West Sussex County Times for its coverage in their battle to save their village bus service.

This newspaper has filmed heated public meetings and taken the fight to West Sussex County Council on behalf of bus service users across West Sussex.

Yesterday (Wednesday) the county council unveiled its final list of services facing the axe.

A full list of the routes affected is published in today’s County Times.

Today (Thursday) Caroline Collins, Dawn Jelley and Anita Casey thanked the paper for its support saying: “We feel we have secured a positive result which may not have happened without your help.”

The trio, along with other residents of Cowfold, had feared the number 86 Metrobus service would be axed under controversial plans by West Sussex County Council to cut support for non-commercial routes by £2 million over three years.

The 86 provides a vital link for many parents in the village who send their children to Warden Park School in Cuckfield. It is also used by elderly residents, those attending college and the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.

A heated public meeting last month heard the service provided a vital link for many parents in the village who sent their children to Warden Park School in Cuckfield. It was also used by elderly residents, those attending college and the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.

But Mrs Collins said the move meant there was now more time to talk to other bus companies and invite them to tender for the service.

“We can work with them in looking at what’s best for the community and hopefully we can actually work together rather than against each other which is how it had been.

Overall she said her feeling was one of great relief adding: “My initial reaction is that I’m really pleased with that. I think they have listened to the public. Clearly they have recognised the public need more time.”

“If April is the start that gives us a reasonable amount of time to look at an alternative. We can now look at this in a more clear and thoughtful way of actually finding an alternative of what they do recognise now is a needed bus service.”