Green light for £17.4million boost for West Sussex bus travel

The green light has been given for a £17.4million boost for bus service improvements in West Sussex.

West Sussex County Council successfully bid for the Government cash injection, aimed at increasing bus passenger numbers, which in turn will help support the local economy and reduce traffic congestion.

Joy Dennis, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “The £17.4million Department for Transport funding is excellent news for the whole of the county - and bus passengers in particular.

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“We are working in partnership with the bus companies to do all we can to try to make bus travel as attractive as possible, help increase passenger numbers and thereby make it easier for people to get to essential services, shops and businesses, education and leisure facilities and to leave cars at home in favour of this more sustainable way to travel.”

A range of schemes will now be developed, including:

• A discounted concessionary bus travel scheme to encourage young people, aged 16 to 21, to use the buses

• The introduction of ‘Tap On – Tap Off’ fare technology across busses operating within the county

• Installation of 300 new Real Time Passenger Information displays at countywide locations, providing electronic display screens, which are popular with both passengers and bus operators

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• Improved bus stops at countywide sites, with new poles, flags, hardstanding, disabled access, shelters, seating, lighting and nearby crossing points

• Improvements to the bus lanes in Station Way, Crawley and the bus lane priority set up in Manor Royal, Crawley

• Creation of a new transport hub in Crawley, providing a single place to swap between different modes of public transport

The Department for Transport funding news follows the ongoing £2 fare scheme, which has been confirmed to be extended until June, and the recent County Council’s “Bus It” campaign – which encouraged senior residents to consider returning to the buses to take full advantage of their eligible free pass.