Hope in fight against Worthing bus cuts

W24214H11 WH BUSSERVICE GT 14.06.11.'' Bus service cuts .......... Raymond Clawson with residents ..... W24214H11.
W24214H11 WH BUSSERVICE GT 14.06.11.'' Bus service cuts .......... Raymond Clawson with residents ..... W24214H11.

CAMPAIGNERS who helped save buses from the axe nearly four years ago said the new proposed cuts could turn Worthing into a “ghost town”.

Raymond Clawson, who started a campaign to save Worthing’s buses from being cut by Stagecoach in 2007, said the cuts proposed by West Sussex County Council would leave people stranded and isolated.

Back in 2007, a petition started by Raymond was signed by more than 5,000 people, contributing to Stagecoach making a u-turn on plans to cancel certain buses.

But Raymond said things were different this time, as it is now West Sussex County Council swinging the axe.

Raymond, 71, of Adur Avenue, Durrington, said: “I know we’re going through difficult times, but people need these buses.

“I had someone tell me she wouldn’t be able to get home from work.

“Other people have said Worthing will become a ghost town, with young and old becoming stranded.

“What’s clear is the people of Worthing still want their buses.”

A public consultation on the proposed amendments to bus services had been due to end on June 10, but this has now been extended to June 24.

Hazel Sherman, minister at West Worthing Baptist Church, which holds a range of day-time activities, described the proposed bus cuts as a backwards step, which will “disadvantage people who are already disadvantaged”.

She said: “A lot of people who use the church are already disadvantaged, whether it’s because they’re disabled or elderly and immobile – these cuts are really a disaster for them. There is the suggestion by those making the cuts that people can either gets lifts or just walk, but we have people who come from Lancing and Sompting and not everyone knows someone who has a car.”

Jackie Tettersell, manager of Durrington Community Centre, in New Road, said: “As far as we’re concerned, a lot of people use the buses here. Some of the people who use the centre won’t be able to get to us. The evenings and weekends are times when families are not around to give them lifts. We have people here who are elderly, disabled, or have push chairs, and it’s going to be harder for them if these cuts are made.” Raymond said he would await seeing West Sussex County Council’s plans before deciding what to do next.

- Compass Travel has announced it will step in to save a number of bus routes from potential cancellation. For further information, phone 01903 690025 or visit www.compass-travel.co.uk