Plans to cut Muesli Mountain bus halted – but passengers warned use it or lose it

Posted On 24 Jan 2023 at 1:23 pm

18 bus at the Pepperpot by Matt Davis on Flickr

Plans to cut the frequency of a bus route connecting Hanover and Hove have been halted – but could return if passenger numbers don’t improve.

Yesterday, Brighton Buswatch, which advocates for passengers, revealed it had been shown draft plans to run the service from every 15 minutes to every 30 minutes from April.

Although the route is well used up the hill from the city centre to Queen’s Park, hardly anyone takes it in the opposite direction.

Today, Brighton and Hove Buses said after receiving feedback on the plans from Buswatch, they were not now coming into force in April.

But as the route is one of the least used in the city, they could be revisited in future.

Nick Hill, Commercial Director at Brighton and Hove Buses said: “This proposal for route 18 is not currently being progressed, and there are no plans to change the route in April.

“However, passenger numbers on route 18 are still lower than pre-Covid due to altered travel patterns and working habits.

“Unless we see an increase in current passenger numbers, we will need to look at alternative options for the route, as it is currently one of the least used services in the city.

“We are also currently working with Brighton and Hove City Council on plans to improve the service on route 21, which links Queens Park, Manor Hill, Whitehawk, Furze Hill, Eaton Road and Goldstone Valley with central Brighton, Hove and the Marina.”

Yesterday, one of Labour’s candidates for Queen’s Park Tristram Burden started a petition to “Save the 18!”, which has now been signed by more than 250 people.

He called on the council to subsidise the route, which is currently run on a commercial basis.

Today, Brighton and Hove City Council confirmed Buswatch’s report of improvements to a route which is run with council subsidies,

The 37 and 37B, which run between Bristol Estate and Meadowview via the hospital and city centre, will now run on Sundays as well as Monday to Saturdays.

The Sunday service will be paid for using government funding to improve bus services, which is also being used to subsidise the January to March £2 flat fares nationally and free travel for children locally.

The routes, which are operated by Compass Travel, run roughly once an hour until the early evening, with the 37B also serving Hanover.

Chris Chatfield, MD of Compass Travel said: “At Compass Travel we are always looking for ways to improve our bus services to encourage people to leave their cars at home.

“We are pleased to be working with Brighton and Hove City Council, using government funding, to improve the timetable for the 37/37B in Brighton.

“The improved Sunday service will hopefully encourage more people to use the bus for leisure at weekends and reduce congestion in the city.”

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