CALLS are being made for people and businesses to get behind a campaign to start a shuttle bus on Hayling Island.
The idea, initially put together by the island’s Labour group, hopes to bring in a 20-seater bus service run by a volunteer group to go from the Hayling Island ferry to Sandy Point and Northney.
A meeting was held on Saturday at The Royal Shades, on Seafront, to form an action plan.
Michael Evans, a campaigner on Hayling Island, chaired the meeting, which was also attended by Tony Berry, director of Community Empowerment and Colin Hill, from Baker Trayte Marine which runs the ferry.
Mr Evans said: ‘There’s a real interest from our side to develop a community bus service.’
He said that it was vital that businesses on the island got involved to help with sponsorship of what would be a community interest project.
Mr Berry said: ‘It would be an attraction for Hayling Island. It would bring Hayling Island back up.’
Mr Hill said there was a business case for a bus service as he is bringing people to Hayling – especially during the summer – who then find it difficult to get to elsewhere on the island.
He said: ‘It is not just about the people on Hayling Island, it’s also about who I can bring to Hayling Island.’
He said that on one day last week he brought across 232 people to the island, about 20 per cent of whom were cyclists and two per cent were workers, while the rest were tourists with no means of getting further on to Hayling Island.
Mr Hill added: ‘I want it to work for everyone. All we hear is about pollution, carbon emissions and getting more cars off the road but no one wants to help or actually do something about it. This bus would help.’
Hayling Island resident Pauline Scutt, who was at the meeting, expressed concern about the lack of subsidies being given from the local authority.
Mrs Scutt said: ‘I think the council should pay for it, look at the amount of money they are getting from car parking and the beach huts. None of that comes to Hayling Island, it goes to Havant but it is our money.’
Anybody who would like to get involved, or businesses who would like to sponsor, should call Mr Evans on (023) 9247 7387 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The group’s next meeting will take place at The Royal Shades on Wednesday, May 24 at 6.30pm.
There will also be networking from 7.30pm.