Brighton and Hove Buses has vowed to do all it to keep bus services running should their subsidies be slashed in this year’s budget.
Subsidies for some evening, weekend, Sunday and public holiday services on the 21, 21A, 21B, 38A, 81A and 84 routes are set to go next year whichever budget city councillors – and possibly a referendum – settle upon.
But should city councillors or a referendum reject a 5.9% council tax rise, then even more subsidies will be stopped.
Brighton and Hove Buses today said it will do all it can to reduce any impact on passengers.
Managing director Martin Harris said: “Fortunately for bus users, given the current financial climate, a very small proportion of bus journeys in the city are operated on contract to the council.
“But those that are at risk due to the council economies are clearly important to the people that use them.
“We will continue working with the council to help find effective solutions to providing services for those people and we are ready to ensure that a suitable and sustainable service continues to be offered.”
The 5.9% budget proposes terminating seven supported bus contracts early. The specific reductions are weekend and weekday evening services 21, 38A, Sunday and Public Holiday services 38A, 21A, winter Sunday and PH evening services 21B, 81A and weekday limited service 84.
However, there are also improvements being made to a number of non-subsidised routes as a result of suggestions made by passengers and drivers, as well as Brighton Area Buswatch and a number of local community groups.
Improvements include extra buses to improve reliability on service 2 and service 7, which will also get a frequency increase. Extra journeys will be provided on several services to improve commuter journeys, evening and night bus services. Some school journeys are being improved.
The bus company also explained that alongside these improvements, changes to services 37 and 38 were necessary this spring as funding from central government for service 38 through the “Better Bus Area fund” runs out.
The company stated that the present pattern of operation for these services was only made possible by the injection of funds from the Department for Transport but said it is working with the council to ensure that the ending of the funding does not leave the areas involved without services.
Mr Harris said: “Brighton and Hove Buses is working with council officers to ensure that a suitable alternative service will be provided, even if that means some or all of the service being provided by other operators.
“We are assisting the council in this regard, but are standing by to continue to operate services in those areas.”
The company has invited further suggestions for the autumn and winter timetable. Suggestions need to be made by the end of May 2015 to be considered for the September 2015 Bus Times book.
Contact Brighton and Hove Buses by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to 43 Conway Street, Hove, BN3 3LT.
|1, 1A, N1||Improved early evening frequency on Mondays to Saturdays, and more time is allowed for buses to complete their journeys in the morning and afternoon rush hours to improve reliability.
Improved late evening service from Mile Oak to Whitehawk on all days.
|2, 2B||More running time and more catch up time at both ends of the route are being provided on Mondays to Saturdays to improve reliability.
Improved service between Rottingdean and Woodingdean in the early mornings on all days of the week.
|5, 5A, 5B, N5||Improved service from Patcham in the morning rush hour on Mondays to Fridays.
Improved late evening service to Hangleton.
|6||New early morning journeys to Brighton Station on Mondays to Fridays and Saturdays, connecting with London trains.
|7||Improved daytime frequency on Mondays to Saturdays to every 6 to 7 minutes. More time is allowed for buses to complete their journeys on Mondays to Saturdays to improve reliability.
Revised timings from Portslade on Mondays to Fridays with some earlier departures.
|12, 12A, 12X||There is an extra journey from Newhaven to Brighton in the morning rush hour on Mondays to Fridays.
Improved evening service from Brighton on Mondays to Saturdays, with an improved frequency between 8 and 8.30pm and an extra journey at 10.33pm.
Service 12A journeys are extended beyond the Arndale Centre at Eastbourne to the Winter Garden.
|13X||The frequency is increased to every half hour on Sundays and Bank Holidays between 14 June and 31 August.
|14, 14C||Minor timing changes on early morning journeys from Hangleton on Mondays to Fridays to improve reliability. One morning journey extended to BHASVIC on schooldays.
Some adjustments to timings in the morning and afternoon rush hours on Mondays to Fridays to improve reliability.
|18||Minor timing changes in the early mornings on Mondays to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays to improve train connections.
|21, 21A||Improved service between Queens Park and Hove and between Furze Hill and Hove before10am.
Improved afternoon service with more buses serving Furze Hill, Swanborough Drive and the Marina. An extra journey is provided between London Road and Manor Hill at 3.23pm on schooldays as currently the buses are very crowded.
More time allowed between the Marina and Whitehawk to improve reliability.
|22||Some minor timing changes in the early mornings on Mondays to Fridays. Some morning peak journeys from Woodingdean on Mondays to Fridays have more time to complete their journeys, to improve reliability.
Evening journeys on Mondays to Saturdays extended to Brighton Station, in line with daytime journeys. Some changes to evening timings to provide a more even service with service 21 between the city centre and Elm Grove.
|25, N25||Extra running time added on the busiest journeys to the Universities in the morning peak on Mondays to Fridays.
The ten-minute frequency of service N25 continues for a further half hour, with new departures from Old Steine at 4.31 and 4.41am. The “short” N25 journeys continue to run until one week after the end of the summer term.
|27, 27C||Minor timing changes to some early morning journeys on Mondays to Fridays to improve train connections and to improve a tight connection with service 2 at Rottingdean
Improved frequency from Westdene to Saltdean in the early evening on Mondays to Saturdays, and a new later last journey to Saltdean on Mondays to Saturdays to provide a connection at Brighton Station with the 11.06pm train from London Victoria.
Minor timing changes during the daytime and evenings on Mondays to Saturdays to allow more time for buses to complete their journeys to improve reliability.
|28, 29||There is a slight reduction in frequency between Lewes and Tunbridge Wells in the early evening on Mondays to Saturdays due to the withdrawal of funding from East Sussex County Council. The evening frequency is improved to every half hour between Lewes and Brighton on Mondays to Saturdays.
Significantly improved service for Ringmer. The Brighton-Uckfield “short” journeys on Mondays to Saturdays are diverted via Ringmer as service 29B to improve the service and provide a daytime link with Uckfield. This was suggested by our drivers.
Minor timing changes to some early morning journeys on Mondays to Fridays to improve reliability, and some minor timing changes between Uckfield and Tunbridge Wells on Saturday mornings.
|37||Early morning journeys that start at Swanborough Drive are re-numbered 1B.
There will continue to be a half hourly frequency to Bristol Estate (with the Compass 37B) although there may be some timing changes. These have not yet been finalised.
|38, 38A||Due to funding coming to an end from the Better Bus Areas fund, there will be some route and timing changes to the 38 and 38A, although these have not yet been finalised.
|46||Minor timing changes on journeys from Southwick to Hollingbury on Mondays to Saturdays to improve spacing with service 49 along Portland Road.
The 3.05pm departure from Hollingbury will depart at 3.02pm on schooldays and operate three minutes earlier as far as Varndean School.
|48||The route between Brighton Station and Churchill Square (in that direction only) is altered to Upper Gloucester Road, Buckingham Road and Dyke Road, instead of Queens Road.
|49||More time is allowed between East Moulsecoomb and Lewes Road Garage in the morning peak on Mondays to Fridays to improve reliability, and one journey is diverted to Brighton Station for the benefit of train commuters.
There are timing adjustments on Mondays to Saturdays to improve spacing with service 46 along Portland Road.
There is a slight reduction in frequency in the early evening on Mondays to Saturdays, although there is a new later last journey from Portslade to East Moulsecoomb on Mondays to Saturdays.
|50, 50U||The frequency between Hollingdean and Churchill Square increased from every 15 minutes to every 12 minutes on Mondays to Fridays until early afternoon, following feedback from the Hollingdean Local Action Team.
There are some minor timing alterations in the early mornings on Mondays to Fridays to improve train connections. Morning journeys on Mondays to Saturdays continue to Brighton Station until 9.15am.
Falmer journeys are extended to serve Brighton University campus.
|55||The first journey from Mile Oak runs five minutes earlier and terminates at Varndean College instead of Hollingbury Asda.
|60||Timing changes on morning journey from Steyning, giving more time for the bus to complete its journey and improve reliability. This was suggested by the Brighton & Hove Youth Council.
The morning school journey to Steyning Grammar School is extended to start from Shoreham High Street via Eastern Avenue. This was suggested by a passenger.
|74||Extended to Egremont Place via Queens Park to provide more capacity at the busy afternoon school time between the bottom of Elm Grove and Queens Park. This was suggested by Brighton Area Buswatch.
|77||This year the 77 will operate on Mondays to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the summer from April until September. (In previous years it has operated at weekends only until mid-June.)
Between mid-June and the end of August the frequency will be increased to every half an hour (last year the frequency was about every 45 minutes.)
|78||For the first time this route will operate on Mondays to Fridays as well as at weekends.