WSCC is consulting on proposed changes to a number of local bus routes, including the proposed withdrawal of the 74/75 and 73 services through Thakeham. The reason given is that there are falling passenger numbers on these subsidised services. The Parish Council is strongly objecting, arguing that:
- Bus services through Thakeham are already extremely poor and there is no other public transport available. Removal of these services will effectively mean the Thakeham having no public transport at all. The 74/75 service is the only service that runs through the village every day, connecting with Horsham in the north and Storrington in the south. To also lose the 73 service (which only runs on Mondays and Fridays) will mean no return service at all to Storrington. The only residual service would be the Wednesdays-only 71 “shopper” bus from Storrington to Arundel/Chichester and back.
- Withdrawal of these services will have a severe impact on certain vulnerable groups. It will make it impossible for young people in this village to attend 6th form college in Horsham by public transport. It will also mean elderly residents and others without access to private vehicles being unable to visit Horsham for shopping, social and leisure purposes, and a severely limited service to Storrington.
- It is a move in entirely the wrong strategic direction for travel and the local environment. By effectively removing all public transport from Thakeham just as new housing developments deliver 150+ new households here by 2018, it will force the newly-enlarged community to be even more over-reliant on private vehicles, which will exacerbate existing serious traffic and safety issues in the area.
The deadline for consultation on this proposal is 18 December. We hope that Thakeham residents will respond directly by following this link to the WSCC survey and having your say about this ill-judged proposal. Please forward this message to other potentially interested people, and feel free to draw on the points above in your response.