Funding agreed for Brighton and Hove supported bus services

Funding has been extended for the Breeze Up countrysidebusto the South Downs
Funding has been extended for the Breeze Up countrysidebusto the South Downs

The city's 19 supported bus routes will be funded for a further four years, Brighton and Hove City Council has announced.

Councillors agreed to protect the city’s supported bus network at a recent meeting of the policy, resources and growth committee, with £150,000 additional investment.

The money, part of an underspend on concessionary bus fares, will offset savings agreed in the February budget, the council said.

New four-year contracts have now been awarded to Brighton and Hove Buses and The Big Lemon to run the routes which include eight school routes across the city, buses to outlying local communities that are not commercially viable, an extension of some commercial routes to operate during the evening or weekends, and the ‘Breeze Up’ countryside bus that runs from the city out to the Downs.

A existing contract for the 37, held by Compass Travel, runs until April 2018. In the meantime the council said it will undertake a procurement exercise to ensure Routes 37 and 37B have a sustainable long-term future.

Routes 16/66, 47/52, 56 and 57 which are currently operated by Compass Travel will, from Sunday (September 17) be operated by The Big Lemon.

Cllr Gill Mitchell, lead councillor for transport, said: “I am pleased we have been able to protect all of these routes which are often a lifeline for local communities to connect people to the city.

“We are also providing a small number of improvements that residents asked for, such as better connections in the east of the city between Ovingdean, Rottingdean and Saltdean through the 47 route serving Ovingdean during the day.”

Routes to be supported also include buses serving Portslade and links to Brighton Station, the Marina and the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

The current contracts end on Saturday (September 16) with new contracts starting on Sunday (September 17). T

For Brighton and Hove Buses timetables including the council-supported school services 72, 74, 75, 76, 76A, 91, 95 & 95A, the Breeze Services 77, 78 & 79 and an extension of the 21 service to serve Goldstone Valley, click here.

For Big Lemon timetables, click here. These are expected to be updated with the council-supported services – the 16/66, 47/52, 56 and 57.

For the Compass timetable including the council-supported services 37 and 37B, click here.