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Bus service to cost Albion an extra £75
4:40pm Saturday 20th July 2013 in News
Albion bosses have assured fans new bus travel to home games will mean no more waiting in the rain – even though it will cost supporters up to £75 more a year.
Brighton and Hove Albion has announced changes to bus services to the American Express Community Stadium, which will see the end of first-come, firstserved bus travel.
The club has said the changes to the socalled football specials were necessary because of safety issues and the impact on residents at the other end of bus routes.
But the moves have sparked an angry backlash from some fans, who say they feel “deceived” and “ripped-off” by their beloved club.
Season ticket holders already pay a travel supplement of £50, up from £30 last season, and have also seen the cost of their season tickets rise by up to 5%.
It is thought the bus transport changes will affect several hundred fans.
Albion officials say the changes have been introduced following feedback from fans and residents in the Rottingdean and Shoreham area.
A new pre-booked system with allocated bus departure times will include more stops east of the city covering Seaford, Saltdean, Rottingdean, Ovingdean and Whitehawk and also from the west of the city, including Shoreham Beach, Seven Dials and Hollingbury.
The pre-booked service will continue to be subsidised by the club but fans are asked to cover part of the cost.
The new service will begin on the club’s first home game of the season against Derby County on Saturday, August 10 with supporters able to book a seat in advance on a seasonal ormatch-tomatch basis.
Executive director Martin Perry said: “The services have been replaced with a pre-booked system by Seagull Travel.
“The advantage of the replacement services is that they start further afield and therefore prevent the need to drive to Rottingdean or Shoreham for fans from further afield.
“If supporters do not wish to pay for this improved service, the match ticket still provides for a no-cost, subsidised service within the travel zone using the Brighton and Hove Buses network or Southern Rail train service.”
Fan Andrew Satchwell said: “The culling of the free bus service to the ground on match days is a disgrace.
“The likelihood is this will lead to more people using cars to get to games, which will have a negative impact on the environment and is a contradiction to local council policy, which is trying to lessen people’s usage of cars.”
Go to www.stagedoortickets.co.uk/ SeagullTravel or call 0845 901 1442.
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