Thursday 2 June 2011

North West Sussex Seagulls

Tuesday 31st May 2011: It was a good inaugural meeting at the Star in Roffey tonight for the North West Sussex Seagulls, the newly formed independent Brighton & Hove Albion supporters club. Many thanks to Andy and Paul for arranging the meet up and setting up the club. Around 30 fans attended on the evening and here in a nutshell are the proposals and costs for coach travel via the new North West Sussex Seagulls supporters club:

Route: Start at Roffey Corner, Horsham BR Station, Hop Oast park & ride, Southwater, Cowfold, Henfield, Amex Stadium.

Journey time: Anticipated journey time is 1 hour from Roffey to Amex. Departure time on Saturdays from Horsham was set provisionally as 1pm with a view to arriving at the Amex at around 2pm. However, some supporters at the meeting felt that initially the Club should consider setting off earlier at 12.30pm as we don’t know what to expect in terms of traffic delays for the first few matches. Things will eventually settle down and a more definite departure time can be set based on experience of previous journey times. Anticipated departure time from the Amex is around 5.30pm with a projected 6.30pm arrival time in Horsham. These times are subject to change and amendment as necessary dependent upon experience and demand. For evening kick offs it is anticipated that coaches will leave Horsham around 6.15pm, possibly a bit earlier. Again, trial and error for the first couple of evening matches will establish the best departure time. The problem with evening kick offs is that fans may have problems getting to the coach pick-up points if it leaves too early.

Note: For the inaugural pre-season friendly game against Spurs on 30th July the coach will leave an hour earlier than the normal departure time, so expect a noon pick up from Horsham for that game so fans can get a good first time look around the Amex before the 3pm kick off.  

Coach season ticket cost for 23 league games = £138.00 = £6.00 per game (juniors & over 60’s: £92.00 = £4 per game)
Ad hoc coach travel = £8 per match (£5 for juniors and over 60’s)
Any Cup games would be charged extra at the same per match costs as above.

The North West Sussex Seagulls Club have made their own independent arrangement with Arun Coaches who can supply 49 or 59 seater coaches, and coach travel with NWSS is considerably cheaper than other advertised  offerings. NWSS have made their own fans collective arrangement with Arun Coaches and as the club is a non profit making organisation they are not looking to make any profit at fans expense. Any funds that may be left over at season’s end will likely be donated to Albion In The Community and similar charitable schemes.

I think £6 for transport to and from the Amex is very reasonable, the proposed coach travel arrangements look promising and the pricing structure is certainly competitive and realistic. With the increase in season ticket numbers to 16,000 I am wondering how easy the park and ride is going to be for the forthcoming season. If fans are waiting around for park and ride buses then it may well be a more viable and efficient means of travel to use the NWSS coach, apart from anything else it's a more 'greener' and sustainable way to travel

Membership to the NWSS is free for this coming season but the club will more than likely introduce a modest subscription fee for the following season, which is not unreasonable. They hope to hold social events and gatherings with other Seagull fan clubs such as Mid Sussex Seagulls and Seagulls Over Burwash. The club have now found a treasurer to sit alongside Andy and Paul on the committee and NWSS will eventually have a full nominated committee as voted for by all club members. The committee should evolve and establish itself over the coming season with further meetings planned for the future.

The club will also be looking to run a coach to the Sussex Senior Cup Final if there is enough interest and enough fans are able to get tickets and they also intend to run coaches to away games, again where there is enough interest. Full payment details on how to book and secure your seat on the club coach can be found at the NWSS website and another supporters club meeting is planned for early July (date to be finalised).

For more information on this newly formed Brighton & Hove supporters club for fans based in North West Sussex visit their website at 

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