Councillors face '˜difficult decision' on Sompting bus service

Councillors are due to make a '˜difficult decision' on continuing Sompting's 7A bus route at a meeting tonight (Wednesday, January 11).

The bus was launched at an event in 2015
The bus was launched at an event in 2015

Sompting Parish Council has been funding the service, which runs between Worthing Town Centre and Lancing via Sompting every two hours on Sundays and Bank Holidays, for the last 18 months at an annual cost of £6,000.

However, Peveral South ward councillor Alun Jones said that service providers Compass Travel had asked for an additional £4,000 a year towards the service.

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This was a ‘remarkably big increase’, he said, considering it had not been anticipated by the council when setting its annual budget.

At the meeting, councillors would have to decide whether the extra funding could be found, he said.

If not, it was ‘possible’ the service could be terminated, Mr Jones said, adding: “Which would upset a lot of us, as we put a lot of effort into running it in the first place.”

The council had considered changing the route, which Mr Jones said ‘was used, but not remarkably well used’, to an hourly circular route within Sompting connecting to the 700 and Pulse buses, as an alternative.

Chris Chatfield, managing director of Compass Travel, said the fare revenue was less than they were anticipating and that the company was currently running the service at a loss.

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