THE BATTLE over buses in a Hampshire village raged on last night as hundreds of villagers packed into a meeting on the controversial issue.

Titchfield has been divided over what should be done about a Titchfield bus service, with one side defending the need for the service and the other backing the needs of village businesses.

It comes after First Bus called for more parking restrictions because its buses were getting damaged trying to squeeze through narrow roads.

However local businesses are against the idea as they fear fewer parking spaces will deter customers from shopping in the village.

Daily Echo:

Fighting to keep the service are Paula Weaver, Mike Gausden and Joyce Brien.

Last night more than 250 residents and business owners got the chance to tell Fareham Borough Council how they felt about the situation, leaving standing room only in the packed St Peter’s Church.

The 90-minute meeting heard views from all sides, focusing on the 4A bus service, which runs through South Street.

First Bus revealed that 34 per cent of all its accidents happened in the 150- yard road and said it would stop the service if parking restrictions were not introduced.

Councillor Sean Woodward, who chaired the meeting, told the Daily Echo that a parking survey would now be carried out, before proposals are drawn up on what regulations to put in place.

He said: “First Bus have promised to continue with the 4A service until we have reached a decision on what to do. There has to be a solution that works.

Daily Echo:

“We cannot kill the village in terms of its vibrancy and commerce, but equally we have to look after the quality of life for residents there.”

He added that a decision was likely to be made in the spring.