Brighton bus company criticises council's station plans

One of the largest bus operators in Brighton has criticised council plans to redevelop the road layout outside the city's main railway station.

Roger French, from Brighton & Hove Bus Company, said it may be forced to stop providing some services to the station.

He is urging people to back the first option in a list of proposals in a public consultation on the new layout.

Jason Kitcat, from the council, said there needed to be a compromise in order to improve Brighton station.

Limited space

Mr French, who is managing director of the bus company, said: "I don't think people who travel by bus, the hundreds and thousands of commuters who arrive at the station from their bus journey realise what the council are proposing.

"If these proposals go ahead we will have to withdraw some of the buses that people catch to the station because there simply won't be enough room.

"Instead of having space for nine buses, two of the options only give us space for about four or five buses so there just isn't physically the room."

He said the first option in the proposals was ideal.

"We are asking all passengers to respond to the online questionnaire and vote for option one," Mr French said.

'Strong views'

Mr Kitcat, leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, said: "There is going to have to be an element of compromise if we are going to improve it [the station entrance].

"At the moment it is pedestrians and cyclists who are at the top of the list in terms of usage but don't get much space and so we are trying to balance things out and improve it for everyone."

In response to Mr French's comments, he said: "Yes, Roger and the bus company have very strong views but so do the taxi firm, the train companies and pretty much anyone else.

"The current spaces that the bus company have now are not fully used all the time. Quite often they are used for the buses to stop over and have rest periods there.

"So we do think there is some room for manoeuvre there and we can work through this but there will need to be compromise from all sides.

The public consultation ends on 15 June.

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