Anger at lack of bus services on Hayling Island

Picture: Paul Jacobs (142476-229) PPP-140824-032155001

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A LACK of transport links on Hayling is causing frustration for islanders.

People living on the western most end of Hayling say they feel cut off as there is no bus service.

To make matters worse, it also means there is no service connecting the Hayling Ferry to the rest of the island’s bus network.

The Stagecoach 30/31 bus currently stops in West Town.

It means anyone relying on public transport would need to get a taxi to the ferry or walk a mile and a half along Ferry Road.

A bus service did run to the ferry many years ago, but this was stopped.

Andrew Lipton, 55, lives at The Kench, and is frustrated as his disability means he relies totally on public transport.

The property developer suffered a brain haemorrhage three years ago and is now desperate to get back to work.

He wants to do a college course in Havant, but the lack of bus services means he would have to get taxis every day.

Mr Lipton said: ‘We are totally isolated.

‘I know a lot of other people feel the same way.

‘I am a man who is disabled and wants to get back to work, but because of the transport restrictions I can’t.’

Tina Edwards, a director of the Hayling Ferry, said: ‘It’s almost the forgotten part of the island.’

On the other side of the water, the ferry joins up with the bus service in Eastney thanks to a subsidy of more than £50,000 a year from Portsmouth City Council.

Councillor Mel Kendal, who is in charge of transport for Hampshire County Council, said: ‘The bus link to the ferry was discontinued in 2004 because it was little-used and, therefore not financially viable either as a commercial or a subsidised service.

‘I do sympathise with this gentleman’s plight but, in this case, the decision to extend the commercial bus service with a link to the ferry is one for the bus operator. In the past two years, the county council has had to make some difficult decisions in the allocation of the available funding to subsidise bus services.’

Regarding reinstating the route, Sarah Winder, spokeswoman for Stagecoach, said: ‘We would have to weigh it up whether it was sustainable or not for us to do that.’