Huge queues at Coldean bus stop after withdrawal of free university bus service

Posted On 27 Sep 2017 at 10:26 am

The withdrawal of the free university bus service between Varley Park and Falmer has caused massive queues on regular bus routes this week.

Long-term Coldean resident and postgrad student Kati-Marian McDonell took this picture of scores of people queueing to get on the 24 bus in Coldean Lane on Monday.

Problems have also been reported at Falmer Station in the afternoon as students travel the other way.

Students living in the Varley Park halls off Coldean Lane previously had a free shuttle to Falmer, operated by the Big Lemon – but this year, it has been replaced by a Compass Bus service which charges £1 per journey. Another free shuttle between Falmer and the Old Steine has been withdrawn altogether.

Ms McDonell, 44, said: “The bus left full after waiting for a long time for everyone (including Coldean parents with buggies to board). So it was late to leave, and still over 50 people were left standing with more coming.

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“The shuttle bus also operated at night, so now relations between students and residents are tested as they now use 24 bus to get home.

“The 24 is still only three an hour and seems irregular or cancelled at the best of times.

“I am a postgrad student and a local resident who has to get to work and uni, so I get the impact on both sides.

“I am 44, I have a bad back. The weight of rucksacs full of books and tech equip isn’t good to walk with for 40mins. The Falmer walk is through or by the woods in the dark. I would not feel happy with my 20-25yr old son or daughter doing that walk.

“Winter is coming. students have kids, some are disabled. The Compass bus is asking for an extra tenner a week on top of £15 needed for Brighton and Hove travel. Most students have under £40 a week after rent and bills.”

A University of Brighton spokesman said an extra bus would be provided for the next couple of weeks to alleviate overcrowding.

He added: “It is not unusual for there to be large queues at local bus stops at the start of the academic year. We have been monitoring things closely and as a result we will be providing an additional bus service between our three Brighton campuses for the next couple of weeks to help to alleviate overcrowding.

“We will continue to monitor the situation.”

A spokeswoman for Brighton and Hove Buses said that the company would also be keeping an eye on the situation, but pointed out that more buses were being put on the 23 and 25 routes.

Both of these serve Falmer and can be caught from a stop on the Lewes Road a 15-minute walk away from Varley Park.

  1. S.J. Reply

    Are all students still whining little snowflakes now? I have missed so much University in my first week because of the appalling busses. Doesn’t matter what time of day you try and get on at Coldean Lane, it is always rammed.

    • Vinegar Tom Reply

      Yes, you are all still whining snowflakes. Walk or cycle, just like grown-ups do. Or spend less money on alcohol and share a taxi.

      That’s what adults would do…

      • Annoyed Student Reply

        I’m an adult, I don’t spend money on anything but the essentials (and the odd meal out maybe once a month) and I still wouldn’t be able to afford the split cost of a taxi, a train or bus fare. What am I supposed to do? It’s an hour walk to university and I certainly cannot afford a bike. I relied on the university taking a cut of my £9k a year to pay for the bus and now I’m facing the reality of having to get another job and giving myself less time to study just so I can afford to get to lectures and back safely.

  2. J.H. Reply

    Sonowflakes or not at least they know how to spell ‘buses’.

  3. E.T Reply

    Do ‘grown ups’ walk or cycle really?? So all the single pasengers sitting in their cars on the commute are a figment of my imagination – or how about all those ‘grown ups’ parking illegally outside schools every morning because they cannot be bothered to walk for more than 2 minutes, and so what if they endanger small people and mums with buggy’s crossing the roads? There are more selfish commuters than ever before and these are your so called ‘grown ups’.

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