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Buses could be withdrawn over 20mph proposal

W03305H14-CompassBusMD

Compass Travel owner, Chris Chatfield, who may withdraw his bus services if a 20mph limit is enforced in Worthing town centre. Goring.

W03305H14-CompassBusMD Compass Travel owner, Chris Chatfield, who may withdraw his bus services if a 20mph limit is enforced in Worthing town centre. Goring.

A BUS operator has threatened to withdraw services in the town if contentious plans for 20mph speed limits are introduced.

Chris Chatfield, whose company Compass Travel run five routes in the town, said time added on to journeys as a result of the proposals could see him left with no choice but to consider stopping or altering current services.

A West Sussex County Council steering group is currently designing the £50,000 public consultation on the plans, which could see most of the town’s residential roads limited to 20mph.

Mr Chatfield said: “If 20mph limits come in on our routes we will look at withdrawing buses from them.

“Most of our routes will be affected somewhere, so we would have to consider withdrawing from sections that have 20mph on them.

“The sections which would have 20mph are where a lot of people live, which is where the buses need to go.”

In practice, Mr Chatfield believes 20mph zones would add an average of four extra minutes to journey times.

He said: “You can’t catch up on those extra minutes anywhere and it would mean introducing 65 or 70 minute frequency services, which nobody wants.”

Mr Chatfield also criticised the potential cost, arguing the consultation costs alone could pay to reinstate Sunday bus services for several years.

He said: “As a bus operator, that money would enable us to reinstate Sunday services.

“It would cost around £10,000 a-year so it would go a long way. Surely that’s a better use of the money?”

He added: “I hope common sense prevails.”

For Stagecoach’s views on the matter, and for the full story, see the Worthing Herald, out Thursday, January 23.

 

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