Battle to keep our rual buses

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Your report on a new bus service for Nuthurst/Maplehurst is misleading: this merely replaces the existing Compass Bus 109 service.

Over the years, public transport through Nuthurst/Maplehurst has been cut until presently we have three buses a week - the 108 on Wednesday and Thursday, the 109 on Saturday. These buses give passengers two hours in Horsham .From September 3, WSCC is withdrawing funding for two of these buses, leaving only the Wednesday bus.

We accept that cuts in government funding leave WSCC with difficult decisions to make but to lose two buses from an already limited service was a blow.

We have lobbied WSCC to keep the Saturday 109 running, and have had little, or no, support from the parish council, our HDC councillor and WSCC councillor. Thanks to the sterling efforts of Rosemary Wakeham, Compass Travel has agreed to divert the 89 bus through the villages once each Saturday.

We are grateful to Compass Travel but campaigned to keep the Saturday bus not just for the benefit of Nuthurst/Maplehurst residents. The Saturday 109 was popular with residents of, for example, Lancing, Steyning and Shipley, who come to Horsham to spend money in the market, shops and cafes; use banks, the library and Post Office and meet friends and relatives. Without adequate bus services in rural areas people will lose their independence and become isolated in their own homes.

I understand a meeting will be held in Horsham on September 17 to discuss cuts to bus services. I urge rural bus users to attend or get in touch with their HDC and WSCC councillors . If we do not make a stand now, rural public transport will disappear forever.

KATHRYN WHITE

Nuthurst Road, Maplehurst