Calls for Horndean buses link with fast trains to the capital from Petersfield

Chirk Aqueduct and railway viaduct.

Travel: Peace and quiet reigns in border country where battles once raged

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COMMUTERS in Horndean are demanding better transport to the capital.

Passengers are unhappy as the 37/38 bus from Horndean to Petersfield does not marry up with the timings of the fast train to London.

It means the train often leaves Petersfield station a few minutes before the bus arrives.

Horndean Parish Council has written to Stagecoach to ask if timings can be adjusted.

Spearheading the campaign is Michael Homewood, a parish councillor who has worked in the transport industry for 40 years.

He told The News: ‘The problem is if you are from Cowplain, Horndean or Clanfield and want to get the fast train to London the 37/38 bus to Petersfield gets there five minutes after the first train left.

‘If you run the buses and run the trains, why don’t you make the lot fit together? If you want the fast train you have to wait 52 minutes.’

He added: ‘At the moment public transport in Horndean is rubbish.’

But officials at Stagecoach – the parent company of South West Trains – said it had to take into account all passengers, not just rail commuters, and that the service would not change.

In his letter to the council, Mark Turner, the firm’s commercial director, said: ‘The whole issue is very complicated as bus services are designed to meet a number of journey requirements of which rail passengers are only one.

‘The main passenger flows on the 37/38 routes are those for schoolchildren and students and that often determines where the buses are and thus what time they can operate during the day.

‘In the case of 37/38, we have to consider where buses are at 9am to allow for concessionary travel.

‘The Horndean area was provided with a dedicated bus/rail link service but unfortunately the usage was insufficient for it to be sustainable.’

He added the firm would give the matter ‘serious consideration’ when the bus service is next reviewed.