‘Underused’ Littlehampton bus service to be axed

The number 15 Littlehampton bus service will end on April 14. Picture: Littlehampton Town Council
The number 15 Littlehampton bus service will end on April 14. Picture: Littlehampton Town Council

An ‘under-used’ Littlehampton bus service will end soon, West Sussex County Council has confirmed.

The number 15 bus service, which was funded in 2017, following the end of the number 12, will end on April 14.

A county council spokesman said: “A severely under-used Littlehampton bus service will end soon.

“The number 15 was set up through developer funding to provide transport for people living in two new housing areas, north of the town. However, it often ran with few passengers from these homes – and sometimes with none at all.

“The developer funding has now been used.

“The county council and Littlehampton Town Council have agreed the number 15 should not be subsidised through public funds at a time of financial constraint, so the service, run by Compass Travel, will end on April 14.”

The change is not connected to the county council’s review of supported bus services, the spokesman said.

They added: “As the housing estates to the north of Littlehampton grow, we will continue to work with Littlehampton Town Council to monitor transport needs.”

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A town council spokesman said: “The town council has financially supported bus services in the town since 2005 and strongly believes in their importance for residents needing to access vital services.

“However, since the introduction of the number 12 service, which extends to Rustington, passenger figures on the number 15 have fallen to less than 20 individuals per day.

“These low figures mean that the cost to the council was likely to increase to around £30,000 from April 2019.

“Housing developers in the north of the town were also subsidising the service with significant sums.

“The town council believes that these monies could be better spent and that the current arrangements did not provide value for money.”

The spokesman added: “When the ‘in high demand’ services of Arun Co-Ordinated Community Transport ceased last year, the town council was keen to find ways to support the new Community Transport organisation and subsequently agreed a funding package.

“A sum of £17,000 has been retained to possibly help fund future transport initiatives in the town.”

Residents who are unable to access alternative transport can contact Arun Community Transport on 01903 792110, which provides shopping services and car services to people who are unable to access conventional services.

Will this affect you, or someone you know? If so, get in touch via news@littlehamptongazette.co.uk