A BUS company have rejected calls from residents and the council for a hospital bus stop in Fareham.

First Bus have told patients at Fareham Community Hospital (FCH) that a bus service to the hospital is "not viable".

Fareham MP Suella Braverman, who has been heavily involved in the campaign for the bus stop, said: "Footfall at FCH is set to increase as we have seen greater utilisation over the years and the success of the same-day-access-service, launched in September, which is now available to 39,000 patients.

"So the services will become more viable over time.

"It is important that we strengthen links with the hospital to support patients unable to drive and as its usage is set to grow.

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"I will be continuing to hold talks with First Bus and others to ensure appropriate transport measures are in place."

The Fareham MP launched a survey which revealed that 99 per cent of respondents supported a bus stop at FCH.

Of the respondents, around 20 per cent are not eligible for a free older person bus pass.

The survey also highlighted that 70 per cent of those travelling to the hospital do so by car, while 10 per cent currently travel to FCH by bus.

A recent consultation on FCH also found that a bus service is one of the highest priorities to patients when asked how the hospital could be improved.

Simon Goff, interim managing director for First Solent said: "First has met with Suella Braverman in the past and discussed the option for buses to divert from their normal route and serve Fareham Community Hospital.

"In the case of Fareham Community Hospital, a bus service would only be viable if many people working at the hospital would catch the bus every day but we simply don’t believe there to be the demand.

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"In addition to staff, visitors also benefit from free parking which makes it even more challenging for us..

"Finally, re-routing the bus to serve a stop at the hospital would mean it would miss out some existing bus stops, so we have to also take into account the number of existing customers who would no longer be able to use the service as a result of this."