I note with concern that a number of Compass bus routes face reduction or withdrawal (County Times December 1).

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This is another potential threat to our rural bus routes, which have seen drastic reductions, both locally and nationally in recent years. The statistics are worrying. Subsidised bus routes in England have reduced by 12 per cent in the past year (House of Lords Hansard 24/11/16).

West Sussex County Council has cut bus funding by 61 per cent since 2010 (Campaign for Better Transport). At a time when our rural communities are losing all their facilities, including village shops, it leaves those without access to a car particularly isolated. The elderly and the young are especially disadvantaged.

A basic network of rural routes should be preserved at all costs, to help prevent the further isolation of our villages, which are in danger of becoming just commuter dormitories.

Stephen D. Watts

Heath Way, Horsham

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