News and Events

Parish Council to Cease Funding towards the Number 12 Bus

Following much careful deliberation, Rustington Parish Council has recently decided that, being mindful of the continual and ever-increasing financial constraints it is faced with, it must withdraw its financial support for the Number 12 Bus Service with effect from 31 May 2024.

The Council, in partnership with Store Property and the Rustington Chamber of Trade and Commerce, has supported and been a core funder of the Service since 2017.  Over time the cost of the Parish Council’s financial contribution to the running of the Service has risen by almost 100% to reflect the pressures placed upon businesses by the increased cost of living. The cost for the Parish Council, for 2024/25, was raised to £37,000.00 per annum with effect from October 2023.

Before making the fundamental decision to cease its financial contribution to the Service, the Parish Council had worked hard over a number of months to explore alternative ways of securing the future viability of the Service, including shortening the route and reducing the timetable but, regrettably, these options were not deemed commercially viable from the Bus Operator, Compass Travel Limited’s, perspective.  The Council fully appreciates this stance but was not able to justify continuing with this significant expenditure item in its Budget.

Compass Travel did offer to reduce the Council’s financial contribution to a more affordable level whilst it explored other possible options for funding towards the Service, but this was only initially for a period of three months to 31 August 2024, with no guarantees that any such reduction would subsequently continue. 

It is understood that Compass Travel will be operating the Service until, at least, 31 August 2024, whilst it continues to explore the aforementioned funding options.

Councillor Jamie Bennett, Chairman of the Parish Council, stated that “It is extremely unprecedented for a Parish Council to financially support a commercial Bus Service, and Rustington has once again proudly led the way, and although regrettable, it is no longer viable to continue to expend such a considerable portion of the Council’s resources on the Service. Overall, the Service has been beneficial to a small number of Parishioners, and it is felt that the Village, as a whole, is well served by the Stagecoach Bus Route Numbers 700 and 9, which by far exceed the limited operating hours of the Number 12, and encompass a substantial section of its route.”

Parishioners can be assured that the Council is already proactively investigating possible community-based transport solutions.