East Preston residents win fight to have bus stop reinstated off A259

A bus stop, which was suddenly removed to the dismay of residents, is set to be reinstated.

Saxon Close bus stop, which originally stood on a grass verge on Old Worthing Road — between East Preston and Angmering — was removed by West Sussex County Council earlier this year.

The council said the decision was made for safety reasons.

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However, elderly and disabled residents were left in the lurch.

Mike and Marianne Hubbard are happy that the bus stop is being returned to it's original place on the B2140. Photo: Steve Robards SR2111063

East Preston resident Mike Hubbard said he has lived near the bus stop for 11 years, adding: "It's been no problem before so why now.

"They said it wasn't fit for purpose because of the slope on the grass verge. The bus hardly ever stops on the grass verge.

"They said when the grass got wet it could be dangerous for passengers [and] it was too close to a road junction, any cars wanting to enter the B2140 from Arlington Crescent would find it difficult when the bus was at the stop."

Mr Hubbard led the fight against the decision.

Saxon Close bus stop, which originally stood on a grass verge on Old Worthing Road — between East Preston and Angmering — was removed by West Sussex County Council earlier this year. Photo: Steve Robards SR2111063

"I want it put back, like most people do," he said. "One of my neighbours thought the bus stop was still there and the bus went straight past.

"It means we now have to walk to nearest bus stop which is quite a distance away.

"As I am now partially disabled I find walking to the other stops very difficult.

"I no longer want to use the bus service as too far for me to walk."

West Sussex County Council has since formed a plan to reinstate the bus stop.

A spokesperson said: “We are aware of residents’ concerns around this bus stop and we’re pleased to say we intend to replace it, subject to consultation.

“The original bus stop was removed for safety reasons. However, we know how important it is to provide people with opportunities to use public transport, so we are in the process of designing a new stop with suitable infrastructure."

The council said it hopes to have the replacement bus stop in place before the end of the financial year, subject to consultation.

'It is great news'

"I think it is great news that that the stop could be reinstated in the near future," said Mr Hubbard.

"I hope I had some effect on it."

However, Mr Hubbard did have one reservation.

He said: "It is the consultation that concerns me.

"If it involves the residents on the side of road where the bus stop will be situated they might object to it as they won't be able to park their cars outside the house.

"Also we are having a problem with cars parking on the bend on the B2140 opposite Saxon Close. It's practically impossible to see traffic coming off the roundabout when turning right into Saxon Close."

East Preston Parish Council was 'very pleased' that there are plans for the bus stop to come back.

A spokesperson said: "We were aware the non-reinstatement of this bus stop had caused some concern for some residents in that part of East Preston.

"We are supportive of initiatives to improve the public transport provision in and around our villages.”

Nikki Hamilton-Street, chairwoman of Angmering Parish Council, shared a similar view.

She wrote: "If the reinstatement of the bus stop will allow elderly and disabled residents to safely use public transport then we would fully support the bus stop being in place again, subject to any safety concerns regarding the stop being resolved by West Sussex County Council."