The number of bus services that received subsidies in 2010/11 was 89 or 28% of the network. The amount spent on buses in 2010/11 was £4,720,068. The amount allocated to buses in 2011/1 is £4,220,000. The number of bus services that will be reduced or withdrawn in 2011/12 is 31.
The council has decided to reduce support to the tune of £2 million over three years for Sunday and evening bus services, as well as less frequent daytime buses. This means the budget for supported buses is dropping from 4.7 million to 2.7 million over the next few years. It is predicted that bus trips will drop by 2 million a year, reducing bus use in the county by nearly 10%. Of course this is difficult to calculate because commercial operators might decide to step up and run some of the buses without subsidy.
The council has set up a group of elected representatives to decide how and where to make cuts to bus services, but there are no bus users in this group. Instead bus users have been asked to write in to let their views be known.
The council had also looked at taking away transport assistance to post -16 students (the 3 in 1 pass) in a bid to withdraw another £807,000 from its spending on public transport. Instead, they have decided to charge for the card at a rate of £50 per year. This has been in place since 9th May.
The Deputy Leader of the council, Lionel Barnard, is questioned about bus cuts in an interview (please see link below for full details). The council is also carrying out an ‘impact assessment’ on how reductions in bus subsidies will affect passengers in West Sussex.
The first wave of decisions on bus service cuts have now been made. See the list in the sources bellow.
The county council will be consulting on further funding reductions to be introduced during 2012 - 2013.
Last updated Nov 2011
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