Bus stops and shelters

Who is responsible for them, how to report an issue with one and when they may be moved, suspended, temporarily relocated or removed.

1 Overview

Buses play an important role in many lives across West Sussex, providing travel for thousands of residents and visitors. Bus services are vital to many older, disabled and vulnerable people, enabling them to visit friends and family or access important services such as shopping and medical appointments.

Travelling by bus instead of private car reduces traffic congestion and also reduces carbon emissions linked to climate change.

We support improvements to public transport in order to provide a better service for residents. This includes ensuring that bus stops and shelters are well-located, with easy access.

The different elements that go to make up a bus stop are managed by one of three different organisations. Please ensure that you contact the correct one if you have a query or wish to report an issue.

  • Bus stops (hard standings and bus poles) - West Sussex County Council
  • Bus shelters - district, borough or parish council
  • Bus flags and timetables - the relevant bus operator

2 Installation of bus stops

As the highway authority, we have full legal powers to install bus stops on the existing highway.

Sites for bus stops are chosen after we have taken into account a number of factors, including road safety, convenience and safety of bus passengers.

A highway assessment will be completed that looks at:

  • the volume and type of traffic at all times of the day
  • the speed limit
  • the road width
  • proximity of traffic signals and road junctions
  • the nature of property frontages
  • parking
  • stopping distances
  • sight lines.

Requesting a new bus stop

If you would like to request that a new bus stop is installed you will first need to gain the backing of the bus company that runs that route. If they are happy to service the new location they will then approach the County Council to request that a highway assessment is completed for the suggested site. If the result of the assessment is positive the County Council will consider installing the new bus stop.

Notification of planned works

Although the installation of bus stops can be done without the need to give prior notification or obtain any consent, our approach is to notify residents immediately adjacent to a proposed bus stop that work is planned.

'Hail and ride' services

Designated stops are preferred over a 'hail and ride' type service. Where there is no identified place for passengers to wait it can cause confusion, problems with accessibility for disabled people, safety issues and the chance of customers not being seen. 

On busier routes, buses may also have to stop several times in a short distance, affecting the punctuality and reliability of the service.  

3 Removal, relocation or suspension of bus stops

Permanent relocation or removal

We will only consider relocation or removal of existing bus stops if it can be shown that there are safety issues surrounding its current location.

Requests for the relocation or removal of a bus stop for any other reason will not be considered, unless the relevant bus operator withdraws their support of service from it. 

If you think that there is a safety issue, requests should initially be made to the relevant bus operator running the route. They will then make a request to us, if they consider it appropriate.

Once we receive a request from the bus operator we will carry out a traffic engineer assessment.

Temporary suspension or relocation

Occasionally bus stops need to be temporarily suspended, or buses diverted, while road or building development works take place. Wherever possible, information will be provided at the affected bus stops. 

Bus operators are responsible for undertaking these bus stop suspensions. This includes ‘bagging’ bus flags and locating temporary bus stop flags.

Suspensions must be completed in conjunction with us to ensure temporary new locations are safe and appropriate for all road users. Temporary or new bus stops will be identified using a formal assessment procedure carried out by one of our traffic engineers.    

Developers, utility companies and other third parties requiring suspension of a bus stop should visit our 'Temporary suspension or relocation of bus stops' page.

4 Maintenance of bus shelters

Bus shelters are owned, managed and maintained by the local district, borough or parish council. 

For a bus shelter to be located on the public highway, permission must be sought from the West Sussex County Council Area Highway Manager.

We no longer operate the Bus Shelter Grant Scheme.

5 Reporting an issue with a bus stop or shelter


If litter is an issue within the vicinity of a bus stop we can ask your local council to attach a bin to the bus stop. Alternatively you can request a litter bin directly from the local district or borough council. 

Anti-social behaviour

In the event of damage to your property, or any other issue to do with anti-social behaviour linked to a bus stop, it should be treated as a criminal matter and reported directly to the police.

Over-grown vegetation

The flag of the bus stop pole must be kept clear of vegetation. It is not only an official road sign but also indicates the presence of the stop to bus drivers and passengers.

The timetable case should be kept clear as well as it contains important information for bus users.

If you consider the bus stop visibility, for either bus drivers or passengers, to be a cause for concern, report it online.

Damaged bus shelters

If you see damage to a bus shelter please report it to the relevant district or parish council.

6 Who to contact

For queries about bus stops email: busstops@westsussex.gov.uk

For queries about bus shelters contact your local district or borough council.

Last updated:
14 November 2022
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  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.