Changes to bus services in the area confirmed

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FEARS that residents will be left “isolated” and “stranded” have been raised after plans to change “vital” bus services in Worthing were confirmed.

A letter from Stagecoach confirming that bus services in Worthing and West Sussex would be changed from December 31, this year, was passed earlier this month to Raymond Clawson, who has campaigned to save Worthing’s buses.

The letter, which was originally sent to Worthing West MP Sir Peter Bottomley, confirmed Stagecoach would be cancelling the number 7 bus from Lancing to Worthing on Sundays.

The Pulse, which covers routes from Lancing to Durrington, will have its last departure times brought forward to 9.09pm and earlier, with later times from Worthing to Durrington on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Mr Clawson, of Adur Avenue, Durrington, said “the unthinkable had happened”.

The 72-year-old said: “My main concern is how are people going to get back from work in the evenings. “How are nurses going to get back from Worthing Hospital when they’re working on night-shifts, and children coming back from their activities late at night.

“I think this is going to come as an awful shock to people in Worthing.”

Mr Clawson said he and his group of campaigners would wait until January to gauge public reaction before deciding what they would do next.

He added: “It’s going to be a very long fight.

“We know that because it’s money the government has stopped which affects all councils.”

West Sussex County Council said the cuts to the bus subsidies were the first phase of a three-year plan to reduce support for non commercial routes by £2 million. The savings are one of a series of proposals designed to save the county council £79million following significant grant reductions from central government. Cabinet member for highways and transport, Pieter Montyn, said: “Decisions such as these are not easy to make. But we simply have to make these savings and unfortunately some supported services will have their subsidies withdrawn.”