Local buses are already better than you think
Did you know:
- There’s now two or three buses an hour to Steyning during peak times – and hourly for the rest of the day.
- The Coastliner 700 bus from Brighton to Shoreham (and on to Portsmouth) runs six times an hour during the day, and now throughout the evening, and the N700 late bus runs hourly on Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 3.30am to transport those clubbers!
- Southern Saver tickets cover return bus and train tickets for journeys to any Southern train destination, including London, and only cost £12.50 per adult (£6.25 for bus ID holders)
- Children aged 5-18 can get free bus ID cards then travel for 20p with an adult, or 50p on their own for non-school journeys. Application forms available from schools, 1Stop Travel in Brighton, or by post using online form available at www.buses.co.uk
- Kids aged 0-4 travel free on the buses
And they’ve recently got a lot better
- There is a new No 59 fast bus into Brighton each weekday leaving Steyning at 7.15am arriving at North Street at 8.09am. This will cut 15 minutes off the journey time in the morning.
- There will be two additional 2A buses from Brighton to Steyning in the afternoons and two more in the late evening. These have removed the ‘black hole’ in the earlier timetable, and make bus travel home from shopping or an evening out in Brighton a much more attractive option.
- And during the daytime, the No 20x bus will be running non-stop along New Church Road to speed up the journey.
Just as we’re getting used to better bus services, they’ve now under threat because of cutbacks in the Council grant for rural bus routes. West Sussex County Council had to cut £2 million from their bus subsidy budget, and undertook a consultation to get peoples’ views. With your help, we put in over 400 submissions from the Steyning area underlining how strongly people feel about this issue. This helped delay the cuts, but they’ve gone through now so bus companies are having to make some hard decisions on what’s commercially viable.
The good news is that Brighton and Hove buses have agreed to continue running the 2A service to Brighton on a commercial basis, at least for now. This means we won’t be entirely cut off in the evenings and on Sundays – as we’d feared. Mike Best from the bus company said “We looked at whether we could carry on with the service, and decided we could, if the people who campaigned for the bus to be saved use it.”
The Compass Buses 100 to Horsham has survived, too, with hourly services on weekdays and Saturdays (not Sundays) serving Pulborough, Billingshurst and Burgess Hill. The 106 to Henfield and Worthing is also hanging in there for the moment with a reduced timetable. They run three services a day. Click the links above to see the latest timetables.
In the longer term, the only way to guarantee our services is to use them more. If everyone in Steyning, Bramber and Beeding made just one more bus journey an month it would transform the economics. So ditch that car, and give them a try. You’ll save a fortune on parking, never mind the CO2 emissions. So it’s a question of use them or lose them!
If you use the car to get to the local shops or to the school, why not try a bike sometimes? You’ll be greener, richer and fitter. To check out the best routes in and around Steyning, download our new cycling guide which has a map showing how to get around avoiding busy roads, and has tips on good cycling routes heading North, South, East and West. The guide was kindly sponsored by South Downs Bikes Ltd in Storrington and East Preston. Copies are available from Steyning Library.
Find someone travelling your way so you can share your journey – saving money, cutting your carbon footprint and having fun! It’s free – just sign up on the Liftshare website, add your journeys and find someone to car-share with.
Or you can check out the Compare and Share website. They are an aggregator of car sharing clubs, lift sharing and car pooling sites in the UK – so you can see what different schemes have to offer.
For a light-hearted look at the benefits of lift sharing – check out this video done by a couple of blokes in Worthing. It won the Liftshare video prize.
City Car Club
Car clubs give you easy access to a car without the hassle of actually owning one. On average, each vehicle replaces 26 privately owned cars and cuts down on unnecessary car journeys. The nearest City Car Club location is in Portslade. Click here to find out more about the City Car Club scheme and join up. Membership costs £60 a year, and you can rent a car for as little as £4.95 an hour, or £40 a day. Cars are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be booked by the hour, day or as long as you want. The cars can be booked online or by phone in advance, or at the last minute. You can rent vans too – van only membership costs £20 a year, and £8.95/hr or £70/day to hire. Great for moving experiences that can otherwise be such a hassle.
The way you drive makes a big difference. 10:10 have put together a tip sheet to help save on petrol and cut up to 10% on your driving emissions. The advice is to: drive smoothly, get the right gear, stick to speed limits, shed some baggage, pump up your tires, switch off the air con, maintain your car, and plan your journey.
Thinking of buying a new car?
Looking for advice on what to get? The Next Green Car website gives a pretty comprehensive picture of what’s out there, and the pros and cons of different models and technologies – hybrids, electric, and more.