Petition started following change to bus service

A FERRING pensioner has started a petition after learning the bus service she travels on has had its route changed.

Elizabeth Gray boards the number nine Stagecoach bus in Wallace Avenue to travel to Boundary Road.

On New Year’s Day, the route 9 was shortened, cutting out Columbia Drive, The Boulevard, Wallace Avenue, Pevensey Road and Boundary Road.

Instead, it travels down The Avenue, The Strand, Shaftesbury Avenue, Mill Road and Cowper Road into the centre of town.

Elizabeth, 65, of Langbury Lane, said: “I don’t believe making the service go along Mill Road is necessary as it is already served by a Pulse service and another bus.

“The changes are completely cutting out a vital section for pensioners.”

Instead of using her free bus pass, Elizabeth said now she would have to pay a £5 taxi fair to travel from Wallace Avenue to Boundary Road, where she visits her son who has multiple sclerosis at Queen Alexandra Hospital Home.

“When I complained, I was told I could walk or take a different route.

“The majority of people using this service are the elderly, and can’t walk across the road, let along walk to take a different service which doesn’t take them where they went before,” she said.

Stagecoach commercial director, Mark Turner, clarified the reasons for the changes on route 9.

He said: “There are a number of changes starting from January 1, 2012, following a review to tackle punctuality problems with bus routes in Worthing.

“Route 9 has been shortened and will take a more direct route into the town centre so will not serve Columbia Drive.

“With all the changes, detailed analysis has been carried out and any sections removed have been identified as picking up low numbers of customers and there are also alternative bus services available.

For example, Columbia Drive is served by The Pulse bus route every 10 minutes (Monday to Saturday daytime) into the town centre.”

Stagecoach said its Coastliner 700 travels down Grand Avenue and along Marine Parade into the centre of town, for the seaside area, and there is also Compass bus route 8, which serves Wallace Avenue, Pevensey Road and Bath Road.

Elizabeth’s petition, which already has more then 50 signatures, can be signed at Oxfam in Wallace Avenue.