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Andrew Boag's
January 2015
Buswatch News

North Street and Valley Gardens proposals

Brighton Area Buswatch has written to Brighton & Hove City Council regarding plans to alter bus stop locations in North Street. Our biggest concern is that are that they would mean less space at the three eastbound stops by the Chapel Royal, leading to increased congestion. Westbound stops (towards Churchill Square) would be moved towards Ship Street by TK Maxx. This week contractors have moved in so it looks as though the works have begun.

(Photos courtesy of Mike Best)

On the Valley Gardens scheme we are concerned that plans to reduce the number of lanes for general traffic in Grand Parade will lead to increased congestion and longer tailbacks. While bus lanes will provide protection for buses they will become less effective if buses have to queue with general traffic before accessing them. As the photos show, delays are happening now as southbound lanes in Grand Parade are temporarily closed for road works. On occasions the queue of slow moving traffic has stretched back past The Level to Preston Circus delaying buses.


East Sussex cuts decision

As expected, East Sussex County Council approved cuts to supported bus services at a small Cabinet meeting on 16 December. This overturned a vote against the proposals at a full Council meeting two weeks earlier. Plans for a massive 30% fares increase were also approved. Given that several services in the Lewes area will continue to be run without direct subsidy by Compass Bus and Brighton & Hove Buses, the County Council will have saved a considerable amount compared with its original plans. We urge them to use this money to enable commercial services to run to current timetables, alleviating the need for drastic frequency reductions


Newsletter continues in the next column

Andrew's January 2015 Buswatch News: continued


Queens Park service review

A meeting was held on 5 December with Brighton & Hove Buses and local Community representatives. It was agreed the revised services introduced last September were working well but there were reliability issues, especially in the late afternoon period. These were partly due to roadworks at The Vogue gyratory with the closure of Upper Lewes Road resulting in more traffic using Union Road. The bus company outlined a number of proposals they were considering for the April 2015 timetable which include an improved afternoon service on routes 21 & 21A. We have all been pressing the City Council to improve the flow of westbound buses in Union Road and are pleased they are implementing a scheme.


Woodingdean services to be reviewed

Following a number of complaints from local bus users regarding the reliability of bus services 2 & 22, Brighton & Hove Buses has agreed to review the bus network serving Woodingdean. The bus company recognises that route 2 is a very difficult service to run reliably due to its length and it is prepared to consider options to change the service pattern. A public consultation will be prepared for local bus users and community representatives. Brighton Area Buswatch will also be involved.


Improving Accessibility

A number of initiatives are in progress to improve accessibility across the bus network. Brighton & Hove Buses have been replacing unreliable electric wheelchair ramps on buses with manually operated ones which are much less likely to fail. To support this, the bus company will guarantee a free taxi if a wheelchair user cannot access a bus. In addition, guide dog trainers can now travel free of charge. One Stop Travel in North Street is now designated a ‘Safe Haven’ where people with dementia can obtain assistance. By the spring, all Brighton & Hove Buses will have audible ‘next stop’ announcements which assist blind and visually impaired passengers.


Brighton Area Buswatch meetings

The next meeting with bus company managers and Brighton & Hove City Council will be on Wednesday 21 January 2015 at 5.30pm in Brighton Town Hall (note new location). Meetings are open to all members and supporters but please let us know in advance if you wish to attend as space is limited.


Buswatch News is written by Andrew Boag, Chair, Brighton Area Buswatch. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Printed copies of this newsletter are available from Hove town hall reception (and will continue to be available during forthcoming building works).

The next issue is due in mid March 2015.

Andrew is contactable by email at or phone: 01273 323075