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Brighton bus timetable changes welcomed
Bus timetables are to be changed to save people paying an extra £450 each a year in fares.
Hundreds of people signed a petition after Brighton and Hove City Council chose not to fund a direct service between the city centre and Ovingdean for the next four years.
In its place will be a shortened 52 route operated by The Big Lemon from Ovingdean to Brighton Marina where passengers will have to change for onward routes elsewhere.
Some expressed fears not every operator in the city had signed up to “through ticketing” which would mean passengers would have to pay another fare when switching services.
However the local authority has now confirmed the 47, which is another subsidised route, will have its timetable changed so people can continue travelling with the basic fare when heading to shops, other transport links and the Royal Sussex County Hospital .
Tom Druitt, of The Big Lemon, said: "We're very happy that passengers will be able to use their tickets interchangeably on the 52 and the 47, operated by Compass, and we would urge Brighton and Hove Buses to consider joining us in this arrangement so that passengers can use all their services too.”
The 52 was one of 12 non-commercial routes serving hospitals, schools and suburban areas which the local authority said it could not fund as it looks to make millions of pounds of savings.
Since the controversy, the local authority revealed an “administrative error” meant the majority of the routes will continue.
The 47 bus, which from September 16 will be operated by Worthing-based Compass, runs from Brighton Station to East Saltdean and will go via Brighton Marina .
Brighton and Hove City Council has said it will change the times so the buses meet and make interchanges possible.
However this will mean passengers will have to pay another tariff to use any of the Brighton and Hove Bus Company services that serve the Marina.
Roger French, of Brighton and Hove Bus Company, said: “It was our suggestion to do this and we're pleased they have done it as it solves any complications as people get straight off one bus and onto another.”
Compass will also operate the 16/66 from Portslade to West Hove Sainsbury's; 37B from Brighton's Bristol Estate to Meadowview; and 56 from Knoll Estate to Patcham.
Barry King, commercial manager of Compass, said, “We have put a lot of work into winning this tender package.
“Our pricing ensures that the routes will be sustainable over the contract period, but there is incentive for us to grow the revenue and passenger numbers through service quality and our team of smart dedicated drivers to build up good customer relationships.”
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