Shoreham Beach residents face struggle for supplies after ‘lifeline’ bus service slashed

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Shoreham Beach residents face a struggle for essential supplies after plans were announced to slash a ‘lifeline’ bus service.

The Compass Travel number 19 service, which usually runs six days a week from The Burrells in Shoreham Beach to the Holmbush Centre, is set to be replaced by a shuttle bus two days a week from tomorrow (April 9).

Residents along the eastern end of the beach rely on the shops in Ferry Road, but residents’ association chairman Joss Loader said older users could struggle with the long walk.

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“The number 19 bus service is a vital lifeline to some residents, providing the only transport link between the far reaches of the Beach, Shoreham town centre and the Holmbush Centre,” she said.

DM1980616a.jpg. Fiends of Shoreham Fort exhibition at Shoreham museum. Joss Loader. Photo by Derek Martin Photography.DM1980616a.jpg. Fiends of Shoreham Fort exhibition at Shoreham museum. Joss Loader. Photo by Derek Martin Photography.
DM1980616a.jpg. Fiends of Shoreham Fort exhibition at Shoreham museum. Joss Loader. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. | JPIMedia Resell

“For those living at the eastern end, it’s a round trip of over two miles just to reach the nearest shops in Ferry Road. For our older residents, they would have to carry heavy shopping bags and face real problems just to pick up basic supplies.

“Fortunately, there is a real sense of community over here and people have offered phenomenal support to their friends and neighbours.”

Mrs Loader welcomed the introduction of a shuttle bus operated by Compass, which will run twice a day on Mondays and Thursdays.

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She said: “We would like to thank them for reintroducing that limited service during these unprecedented times. We hope their drivers stay safe and well.”

As well as limiting residents’ access to shopping for essential supplies, fewer buses means passengers will be less spread out and potentially less able to follow coronavirus social distancing guidelines.

Chris Chatfield, managing director of Compass, said bus passengers across West Sussex had fallen by more than 90 per cent and the decision to cut the number 19 was made after consultation with the county council.

Further information on the amended timetable can be found here: www.compass-travel.co.uk/emergency/

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