Residents ‘trapped’ by bus stop suspension

SUS-160115-090221001

SUS-160115-090221001

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Residents have been left ‘trapped’ by a decision to suspend bus stops along a major road.

Bus stops on the A24 were suspended back in January after a crash near the Washington roundabout which saw a man airlifted to hospital.

The crash involved a van and a bus and closed the road for several hours, prompting many to call for the removal of stops along the busy road.

In response six stops were suspended between the Buck Barn crossroads and Washington by Metrobus and West Sussex County Council.

Barry Metcalf, 71, who lives in Dial Post, catches the bus to get to work in Crawley and said the decision to suspend the stops had left elderly residents ‘trapped’. He said the closest stop was a 45 minute walk along the A24.

“Now you are left in a position which is to walk up the side of main carriageway to get to the first bus stop you can find,” he said.

“I have to take my life into my own hands to walk up the side of the A24.”

Barry called for Metrobus to replace the suspended stops with some of the bus stops already in the villages.

He said: “Quite some years ago we had buses come through the middle of the village but for some strange reason they don’t come through any more.

“They say it is too dangerous to stop on the A24 without a lay-by, which I tend to agree with. If they are worried about safety then why don’t they come through the village and stop at the bus stops.

“I really can’t see the argument that if they come through the village it would add two minutes to the journey. What about the bus stops they don’t stop at now? That must have allocated service time.”

He also raised concerns about young people who rely on the bus service to get into Horsham walking up the busy carriageway.

Nick Hill, head of commercial development at Metrobus said: “Diverting route 23 via Dial Post would add to the journey time of other passengers on the bus and would only be possible towards Horsham but not towards Worthing, which significantly reduces its potential usefulness.

“The service was previously withdrawn from the village due to very low usage.

“We feel that the best solution would be to try to find a safe location for new stops on the A24.

“We are currently in discussions with West Sussex County Council about the possibility of this.”

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