9 August 2018

Council funds continuation of withdrawn bus services

Brighton & Hove City Council has committed £15,000 of funding to ensure bus journeys on the 21 and 21A bus routes can continue.

Brighton & Hove Buses were set to withdraw four evening journeys from Whitehawk/Wilson Avenue section of the 21A route from 17 September.  They were also set to withdraw the first 21 bus which starts at 6am on Saturdays and travels from Whitehawk to Brighton Station via Wilson Avenue, Manor Hill and Queens Park. This would have meant the first bus being 75 minutes later.

The loss of evening journeys to Wilson Avenue would have severed links with the Stanley Deason Leisure centre and Greater Brighton Metropolitan College. The early morning Saturday service, with its direct link to Brighton station, supports access to employment.  

Brighton & Hove Buses will continue to run the full route on the evening journeys, with a similar timetable to now. The Big Lemon bus company will in future run the 6am journey on Saturday mornings.

The decision means that there will no longer be a break in service and that the soon to be published Autumn/Winter bus times will accurately reflect the continuation of the bus services.

In addition the council has approved plans for a new bus shelter which will be installed opposite Stanley Deason Leisure Centre on Wilson Avenue, for passengers travelling towards Queens Park, Elm Grove, London Road Shops and the city centre.

Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, Councillor Gill Mitchell, said: “These are key bus routes which serve the community in East Brighton. We took the decision to fund their continuation so that residents in the area, who require flexible travel times, would be able to access the services they need. 

“We will continue to work with local bus companies to ensure a joined up approach is taken so that residents across the city have access to key routes on the network.” 

Brighton & Hove Buses Managing Director, Martin Harris, said: “We’ve run these journeys since 2015 when the council stopped being able to fund them because of the significant financial pressure it was under.  

“We had no expectations that the council would be able to fund these journeys when we took this decision. We know that times are very tough for local councils right around the country, but we completely understand why they have.  

“The council’s decision allows time for us to work together on a better value for money solution to providing for the East Brighton journeys the council has stepped in to cover. 

“It’s worth noting that we have increased bus mileage every year for the last five years and invested heavily in services to East Brighton. These journey reductions are rare.”