Sussex

Cowdry bus campaigners angry at £50m spending package

West Sussex villagers have been angered by the county council's announcement of a £50m spending package when their bus service is to be lost in the cutbacks.

The package includes money to be spent on upgrading the Chichester Festival Theatre to help boost tourism.

Cowdry residents, who have been campaigning to save the 86 bus route through their village, are unhappy with the council's proposals.

Caroline Collins said: "They should be focusing on the essential things."

Ms Collins, who is from Save the 86 Bus campaign, also said: "We have a theatre, we have a theatre in Horsham as well.

'Government rules'

"You need to promote them, keep them going but you don't need to be spending that amount of money at the moment when you can't get people from A to B on a bus."

The council said that government rules meant its £50m package could not be used to fund buses or social care budgets, both of which are being cut.

Lionel Barnard, deputy council leader, said: "We are investing capital in our infrastructure not in revenue spending which is there for front-line services, such as buses, older people and things of [that] nature.

"What we can do is use this money to boost jobs in West Sussex, to boost the infrastructure, to improve the footfall for shops and everything."

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