Chichester residents left 'stranded' after bus diversion


Stagecoach has apologised after some Chichester residents waiting for buses were left 'stranded' this week.

Having been informed by West Sussex County Council of roadworks due to take place on Lavant Road on Wednesday (July 17), Stagecoach notified customers the day before on Twitter that its 60 bus route would be unable to serve Lavant and West Dean between 9.30am and 3.30pm.

However, some residents were still unaware of the planned diversion, which was later changed to take place today (Friday).

Chichester resident Tony Morris, 70, said: "Stagecoach diverted the 60 bus route, leaving many passengers stranded. Anyone waiting between Northgate, Chichester and Singleton waited in vain for the 60 bus to arrive.

"People wanting the bus on the A286 in Chichester, Lavant and West Dean were not amused.

"I went to catch the 60 bus from Chichester Festival Theatre at around 10.15am. An elderly lady was there waiting.

"It was well over ten minutes late and somebody across the road spotted us and told us what was going on. I checked with Stagecoach and they confirmed the bus was not running and told us it was a mix up.

"Luckily I was not dependent on the bus as I could walk into town but other people wouldn't have been able to."

Stagecoach South offered an apology but said it was acting 'in accordance with an official roadworks notice' before it was altered.

A spokesman said: "We can confirm that our route 60 buses were diverted on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 17, in accordance with an official roadworks notice that we received. Unfortunately, the date of these roadworks was changed during the afternoon of Wednesday to Friday, July 19.

"Once we were alerted to the error, we immediately resumed the normal route and alerted customers online and at bus stops. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused and are in touch with those customers affected."

The county council explained the reason behind the last minute change to the roadworks.

A spokesperson said: "Southern Water applied for a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) in order to carry out roadworks on Wednesday, July 17 on the Lavant Road.

"We were informed by the contractor on Wednesday that they would not be carrying out the work that day. We advised that they must inform anyone who would be affected of the change of plan.

"The TTRO lasted for five days which is why the contractor was able to complete the work on Friday, July 19."