Sunday bus services in Fareham and Gosport facing the axe

Last night's Fareham Community Action Team meeting
Last night's Fareham Community Action Team meeting
Picture: Paul Jacobs (142476-229) PPP-140824-032155001

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Sunday bus services in Fareham and Gosport are set to be cut as part of a county council cost-cutting drive.

It was revealed at a Community Action Team meeting held at Henry Cort Community College in Hillson Drive, Fareham, last night.

The Fareham Community Action Team meeting on October 21, 2014

The Fareham Community Action Team meeting on October 21, 2014

The meeting, organised by Fareham Borough Council, covered various topics from crime rates to community grants but changes to bus services provoked the biggest response.
Guest speaker Peter Shelley, head of passenger transport at Hampshire County Council, gave a presentation about the cuts, which are due to be signed off by the executive member for transport Sean Woodward on October 27.

Mr Shelley said: ‘The proposal is that we stop funding Sunday services. It does not necessarily mean the services will stop, indeed some may be taken on by bus companies as commercial services.

‘It will mean fewer services on fewer days but it will not leave entire communities without transport.’

He said the proposals would only affect the bus services that are currently subsidised by the council, which make up around 28 per cent of all bus services in the county. Bus services that are proposed to change include the 26, 28/28A, 11, 21 and the F1/F2.

The council needs to shave £1.5m off its current £4.7m bus subsidy spend.

The news did not sit well with residents at the meeting.

Mark Eadie, of Chalford Grange, Fareham, said: ‘Councillor Woodward is setting himself up to be the Doctor Beeching of buses in Fareham.’
Jennie Romicheva, from Community Action Fareham, a volunteer charity, said she was concerned that cuts to buses will lead to social isolation for elderly people.

David Cockshoot, of Scafell Avenue, Fareham, said he would like the council to improve its weekend services by providing more weekend Dial-a-Ride services.