New bus service given green light for spring

W03303H14-CompassBusMD''Compass Travel owner, Chris Chatfield, who may withdraw his bus services if a 20mph limit is enforced in Worthing town centre. Goring. ENGSUS00120140121172722
W03303H14-CompassBusMD''Compass Travel owner, Chris Chatfield, who may withdraw his bus services if a 20mph limit is enforced in Worthing town centre. Goring. ENGSUS00120140121172722

A NEW bus for Sompting residents has finally been given the go ahead for spring time as Compass Travel has confirmed the Sunday and bank holiday service.

Chris Chatfield, the managing director of Compass Travel told Sompting Parish Council, via written correspondence, that the company will be able to start the route 7A from Good Friday April 3, this year.

At the parish’s full meeting last Wednesday, councillor Kay Vincent said that Mr Chatfield would like to see an official launch event and special publicity to promote the new service on Easter weekend.

Mr Chatfield has also suggested providing a special free service of the new 7A for just Good Friday, Sunday and Monday - the cost of which would be £500 including publicity.

He added that Compass Travel would consider funding half of this expense, if the parish could source the other half.

Sompting Parish Council vice-chairman Sharon Wood said: “I don’t want to say no but we don’t have a bottomless pit.

“We’ve spent so far £2,500, the Big Local have put in £500 and now they’re coming to Sompting for a further £250.”

Mrs Wood said that the parish is spending tax payers money and this benefits only a small area of Sompting.

“There are other parts of Sompting we haven’t dedicated £2,500 to and they might start to complain,” she added.

The service was initially intended to start in the run up to Christmas, but the proposal was not submitted in time to meet the statutory eight-week waiting period that is required by the county council.

Councillor Gareth Smith said that the news of a new bus service in Sompting would spread instantly, so there is no need for the extra publicity.

It was suggested by Mrs Vincent that the parish could hold a meeting with other local authorities and traders to see if they could help pitch in with the additional funding.

The parish intent to run the service for a six month trial at a cost of £3,000 to see how it is received by residents.