10 August 2015

Council steps in to keep bus route running

Brighton & Hove City Council is stepping in to subsidise a local bus route from next month.

Compass Travel, which took over the number 37 service to Meadowview and the Bristol Estate in April, approached the council to find ways of continuing the commercial service after it became clear it was losing money and in danger of having to be substantially cut from September 13th.

As a result the council – which already funds evening services on the route – will provide additional temporary funding to enable the service to keep operating until the end of March next year. The council has worked with Compass Travel to agree some changes to the timetable on the route from September 14 (see Notes to Editors below). These changes are designed to have minimal impact on a service that serves one of the city's outlying communities.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the city council’s Environment Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “It is disappointing that the number 37 route will not be operated commercially from next month, and we are taking swift action to keep as many services running as we can for the people who rely on them.

"In the current financial year we will be spending an additional £69,000, which will mean the vast majority of the daytime and Sunday services will continue, as well as the evening services on a reduced timetable until the end of March. Longer term these services will now be part of the council’s area review of all of its supported bus services, with decisions being made on them next year.”

Chris Chatfield, Managing Director of Compass Travel, said: “Ever since we took over route 37 we have been working to make it commercially viable but unfortunately have faced on-going losses. We are therefore very pleased to be working with Brighton & Hove City Council, and the additional funding they have provided will enable the majority of services on route 37 to continue unchanged.”

The city council currently subsidises a number of other bus services in the city, which would not otherwise be commercially viable including the, 37B, 47 56, 57, 16 and 66, operated by Compass Travel, plus service 52 operated by The Big Lemon, and eight school services.

More information

  • The number 37 runs between the Bristol Estate, the Old Steine, Churchill Square, Brighton Station, London Road, Lewes Road, Coombe Road and Meadowview.
  • Compass Travel took over the route from Brighton & Hove Buses in April
  • From September 14 Compass Travel buses will continue to operate on the 37 route, funded by the city council. There will be one less morning peak journey from the Bristol Estate; evening services will be reduced from one or two an hour to every 75 minutes; the last bus to Meadowview will run approximately 15 minutes earlier; and the Sunday timetable will be reduced from half hourly to hourly. Full details will be published later this month.
  • The 37B timetable is not affected
  • Passengers with Smartcard tickets, known as The Key, can use them on Compass Travel, Big Lemon and Brighton & Hove Bus Company services in the city http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/press-release/councils-smart-answer-bus-ticket-problem