52 bus route to be extended

The route of the 52 bus, which is the only service to Ovingdean and Downs Valley Road in Woodingdean, is to be extended by the council.

Following consultation with residents in Woodingdean and Ovingdean, all the 52s will now travel on to the city centre, serving the Royal Sussex County Hospital, the Old Steine area, and (at commuter times) Brighton Station. The frequency of the buses will change to every 90 minutes from every hour.

Residents were asked their views on three options; to provide peak time buses to the city centre with two continuing to the station, with no buses to the Marina at peak times; all journeys provided to the city centre, with some peak time buses also continuing to the station which would mean services every 90 minutes instead of every hour and not serving the Marina in the morning peak; or no change.

Of the 242 people who responded, 32% voted for no change, 31% chose the option of peak time buses to the city centre and 37% opted for every bus to go to the city centre, but with reduced frequency.

Those who voted for a change in the timetable were more likely to say they would use the 52 bus more if the route were extended to the city centre.

Councillor Ian Davey, lead member for transport, said: “Since the new 52 route started almost a year ago, we have been listening to passengers, many of whom have said they would like a more direct route to take them nearer to the hospital, city centre or train station. This was borne out in the consultation with over two-thirds voting for an option involving the extension of the service. We’ve been able to achieve this within existing resources by slightly altering the frequency, and it will mean that passengers can travel more easily on a through service.”

The change will come into effect on 16 September.

The Big Lemon bus company was awarded the contract for the 52 bus route, which is funded by Brighton & Hove City Council, in September 2012.

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