A CANDIDATE visited eighteen towns in one day to highlight the lack of public transport in rural areas.

Bella Sankey, the Labour Parliamentary candidate for Arundel and South Downs, travelled 128 miles in an ultra-low emissions battle bus to meet voters across the area.

Ms Sankey, who hopes to win the seat from the Conservatives, said many residents she spoke to had never been visited by an election candidate.

“Saturday was an amazing day,” she said.

“We toured the constituency with a message of hope, renewal and representation.

“Too many people have told me they’ve never before seen a Parliamentary candidate, never mind their MP.”

Visiting small villages such as Pulborough, Steyning and Fittleworth, Ms Sankey said residents had been devastated by cuts to public transport.

“This is a huge rural constituency and many people are left isolated because of the lack of public transport,” she said.

“Bus services have been slashed over the past decade with the elderly, young and economically disadvantaged most affected.

“My priority will be to fight for affordable rural bus services integrated with other forms of public transport.

“My promise to Arundel and South Downs residents is that I will always put you first.”

If elected on December 12, Labour has pledged to reinstate the 3,000-plus bus routes cut by the Government in the past decade.

It has also promised to introduced free bus travel for under-25s and to grant councils the power to set up and run their own bus services.

Ms Sankey hopes to beat Conservative candidate Andrew Griffith in this month’s General Election.

Incumbent Tory MP Nick Herbert had held the seat for 14 years but announced last month he would not run again.