The reinstatement of a popular bus route has been met with joy by passengers.
The number 12 bus, run by Compass Travel, ended in April after funding from Morrisons and Tesco supermarket developments ran out.
This is more than just a bus service, it is a communityDiane Harwood
But Rustington Parish Council, Rustington Chamber of Trade and Commerce and Store Property – which owns retail parks in Rustington – have clubbed together to fund the popular route after many requests from the public.
Diane Harwood from South Terrace was a regular user of the number 12 bus before the route was closed. She said: “It is just absolutely brilliant. It should never have gone away in the first place.”
It will be returning from September 4 and will initially run from Monday to Friday between 10am and 3pm. The money they have put on the table covers the service for six months, so its future depends on people using it and other parties coming forward with funding.
The 68-year-old, who has osteoarthritis, said the service had been her ‘lifeline’ for eight years and she made lots of friends on her journeys. She said: “We can get the old buddies back together. This is more than just a bus service, it is a community.”
She urged people to use the number 12 route to make it a success.
The route will, in the main, follow the original No. 12 route, serving Rustington Sainsbury’s Superstore and Rustington Village Centre, with the addition of the new Manor Retail Park and Worthing Road, Rustington. The service will then continue to Littlehampton, serving the Swimming and Leisure Centre, Littlehampton Railway Station and the Tesco Superstore at Broadpiece, Littlehampton.
Compass Travel Managing Director, Chris Chatfield, said “We are very pleased to be working in partnership with Rustington Parish Council to bring back this popular bus route.
“We are obviously hoping it can continue to run long-term, so would encourage everyone to use it as much as possible.”
Rustington Parish Council Chairman, Jamie Bennett, said “I am proud to be part of a progressive Council, which works with other organisations to ensure that when vital services are cut, as a Parish it can manage to retain them by some other means. I do hope that we are able to persuade the major retailers benefiting from this bus service to commit financially to ensure that the No. 12 route can continue after the six month trial period. It is also most important that the service is well-used by members of the public, as this will help to ensure its retention. I would particularly like to acknowledge the sterling work and effort made by the Council’s previous Chairman, Councillor Mrs Alison Cooper, in striving to ensure the reinstatement of this bus service, for which the Council is most grateful.”
The timetable for the new No.12 bus service can be found on the Compass Travel website compass-travel.co.uk.