Our Guide to Supporters’ Club Coaches 2023/24 tells passengers what they need to know about our friendly coach service to Albion away matches.
Please read it all so that you know what to expect when you book a seat on our coaches. Only book a seat with us if you agree to abide by the contents of this Guide.
We have provided travel to away games since 1996 on a not-for-profit basis, as a service for members and supporters in general.
Our ambition is always to run to every away game (as we did before the pandemic) – at least in England and Wales – but we need sufficient numbers of passengers to do that. During the 2022/23 season we ran to 24 of the 25 away matches.
We charge the lowest fares we can while aiming to break even over the course of a season, as anything else is unsustainable in the long term. Equally, we cannot continue if the burden on the volunteers that run the service becomes too great.
We run a safe, caring service which is renowned for its friendliness and for its inclusive, almost family-like atmosphere. That reputation can only be maintained if passengers are tolerant and respectful of their fellow travellers as well as of the practices outlined in these pages.
Our preferred coach provider is Spirit of Sussex.
Based in Conway Street, Hove, we have worked with the coaching arm of Brighton & Hove Buses for more than 25 years with very few problems.
They provide fully-equipped vehicles with comfortable seats, seatbelts, air-conditioning and onboard toilet, plus friendly drivers.
Online booking is via this website.
Passengers booking for themselves or others must be registered with us as coach passengers. (This is separate from Supporters' Club membership.) Passengers must agree to abide by the latest version of this Guide.
Priority booking is given to regular and recent passengers, their status being granted on a points-based system over our last 15 trips. Thus "windows" will open to allow passengers to book at an appropriate time according to their status.
Passengers may book for other people, for instance their regular companions on our coaches. However, any booking made outside of the appropriate passenger status window may be declined.
We have regular pick-up and drop-off points.
For all trips heading north:
Hove Station central Hove, BN3 3RW – Southbound bus stop in Goldstone Villas, on far side of road from pub.
Court Farm Road West Blatchington, BN3 7QR – bus stop facing One Stop shop. (No shelter.)
Withdean Stadium north Brighton, BN1 5JD – opposite the bus shelter in Tongdean Lane. Ample free car-parking.
Patcham London Road A23, BN1 8YD – bus shelter opposite Miller & Carter steakhouse (formerly the Black Lion).
Hickstead off A23, RH17 5LZ – Castle Inn bus shelter. Drop off at Little Chef on the opposite corner of the A23/A2300 junction (free car-parking). Handy for Mid Sussex.
Pease Pottage Services A23/M23, RH11 9YA – coach "platform" between car-parking and lorry-parking. Near Crawley.
(Click on the locations above for Google Maps.)
For the westbound trip to Bournemouth we will still pick up at Conway Street, Court Farm Road, Withdean and Patcham, then (as required) at Portslade, Southwick, Shoreham, Lancing and Worthing. Passengers for these journeys will be advised at that time of the locations.
Any other pick-up or drop-off points are by special arrangement only.
Fares are set at the lowest level we can manage.
We must aim to break even over the course of a season - anything else would be unviable in the long term - but we know very well that supporters spend a good deal of money following their team.
Full-time students and U18s receive a 25% reduction. A one-way fare is sometimes available on special request, charged at around 56% of the standard adult fare.
After one trial trip at no extra cost, an adult who is not a current member of the Supporters’ Club will be charged £1 extra for each subsequent trip. This will continue until the passenger becomes a member or the surcharges amount to the £5 membership fee for the season.
Loyal passengers receive a £10 discount after each tenth trip!
We do not ask for a deposit as we recognise that, occasionally, people cannot travel for all sorts of valid reasons.
You can pay your fare in the following ways (in our order of preference):
Advance payment online to account “BHASC Coaches”, no. 10591920, sort code 20-20-62. Please let us know when you have done so via the Contact form (with "Coaches" as the subject).
Contactless card / phone on board.
Cash or cheque on board.
Add £1 if you want to be eligible for our online quiz prize (see "The Journey" below).
You may cancel your booking at any time before departure without penalty, but please let us know as soon as you have decided not to travel via the Contact form (with "Coaches" as the subject). We reserve the right to make a surcharge on your next journey if we believe you to have been unreasonable.
Look for an email or text message a day or two before departure.
This will have any late news about the trip, a reminder to assess your health, and a link to our online quiz.
If you need to change anything then use the Contact form (with "Coaches" as the subject) or text/phone the Coachline on 07519 845714.
Bring a mobile phone with you and keep it with you throughout the day. Make sure you have our Coachline number stored: 07519 845714.
We ask you to assess your own health before setting out on the day of the match, to reduce the likelihood of having someone on board who is infectious with a potentially dangerous respiratory disease such as Covid-19 or flu.
You must not travel (and won't be charged a fare) if you are likely to be infectious:
When you have symptoms plus a high temperature, or are otherwise unwell.
When you are taking medicine to combat such an infection.
If you have recently given a positive test for Covid-19.
If infection rates are high (>6%), we will ask passengers to wear masks throughout the journey.
No alcohol allowed
No alcohol is permitted on any coach heading to a football match by law. If you are found with alcohol on board it will be confiscated and you will be banned. (Small bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitiser for personal use are permitted.)
Please be at your boarding point five minutes before the coach is due.
If the coach is running very late the steward will try to keep you informed.
If you’re running late, phone or text our Coachline 07519 845714 if you can. If you’re absent when the coach arrives, the steward will try phoning you and will then decide whether to wait up to ten minutes, in order to be fair to others.
When the coach arrives, wait until you are called forward. The steward may ask if you are well.
We reserve the right to take your temperature using a contactless temperature “gun”. Anyone with a temperature of 38C or more, or is obviously unwell, will not be allowed to travel.
On boarding, make your way to the seat allocated for you. Please use the seatbelt provided. (This is a legal requirement.) Then enjoy the journey.
We allocate seats appropriately so that there is orderly boarding and to allow for vulnerable or less-mobile passengers. We do our best to keep friends and family members together.
You can make requests when booking, including front/middle/back. We automatically assume that those booking together will want to sit together.
We do our best - but we won't always be able to please everyone!
We usually plan to arrive well before kick-off, depending on the particular destination.
Normally we aim for ninety minutes minimum to give us plenty of leeway in case of delays.
There are no refreshments on board, so bring with you what you need. Trips further than London and the South-East will probably see a stop at a service area both outward and homebound where you can make purchases.
Rubbish bags are not provided. You are responsible for your own rubbish, so please dispose of it responsibly and don't leave it on the coach.
Respect your fellow passengers by keeping noise down, including electronic devices. Everyone should feel comfortable wherever they sit so please avoid vulgarity and bad language. Check that the person behind you is happy if you should recline your seat.
You must wear the seatbelt fitted to your seat. This is a legal requirement - the onus is on you.
Each trip has a designated steward in charge, sitting at the front of the coach and empowered to make decisions that benefit passengers while maintaining safety. He/she should have the Coachline phone 07519 845714 to hand.
If you have a problem on the day, tell the steward who may be able to assist or put things right. Don't wait until the journey has finished to mention an issue that could be rectified during the trip.
If you need to attract the steward's attention on board, do so by calling vocally, by phone/text, or by briefly using the aisle.
He/she will have a long day, so please be considerate, especially during the final leg back to Brighton!
All our coaches have an onboard toilet. Please leave it in a fit state for the next person. Use the hand sanitiser provided both before and after using the toilet.
Do not stand or queue in the aisle as it is potentially dangerous. Use it quickly only when boarding, disembarking, accessing the onboard toilet or hand sanitiser, alerting the steward, or in an emergency.
We usually provide an online quiz, with passengers using a smartphone to predict the outcome of the day’s matches in competition with their fellow travellers. The required link is given in the email circulated in the days before the match.
Anyone can enter for free, but to be eligible to win the prize – the whole “pot” up to £20 as a future discount – you must pay a £1 fee.
Keeping everyone on board safe is our highest priority. Please obey any instructions from the steward or driver in the event of an emergency.
Our strategy to protect passengers against the threat of disease begins by asking them not to travel when they might be infectious.
Remembering that "coughs and sneezes spread diseases", we need to keep a healthy atmosphere on board. Observe these precautions:
- Practise good basic hygiene (and good manners). Don't cough or sneeze into the open air – use a tissue, your sleeve or the crook of your elbow. Keep your hands clean. If you're coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose often, consider wearing a mask. The steward, who will have tissues, sanitiser and masks on board, may ask you to wear one in these circumstances.
- Use the ventilator nozzles to ensure a flow of fresh air in the cabin. This may cause the onboard temperature to fall, so bring warmer clothing – a jumper, cardigan or coat – than you might otherwise need. The temperature is often lower by the windows than in the aisle seats. If you’re cold then alert the steward who will do his/her best, in liaison with the driver, to make the situation more comfortable.
Note that we reserve the right to implement a compulsory mask policy in the event of high infection rates (>6%).
Failure to observe these simple precautions may result in a sanction such as a surcharge or a ban on future travel where warranted.
Get whatever you need from the luggage rack if you wish, but then remain seated until the signal to disembark has been given.
Be patient and wait for your opportunity to get up and walk down the aisle. Do not obstruct the aisle or queue in it when people are getting off the coach.
Be aware of traffic in the vicinity, particularly if an off-side door is in use.
Be sure to check that you have all your belongings when you leave the coach at your drop-off point. The lost property department of our coach operator (Spirit of Sussex) may be reached on 01273 886200, or email email@example.com.
On longer journeys - beyond London or Bournemouth - we normally stop at a service area for comfort and food breaks.
Our stopping plan, announced before the journey or early on, may change if traffic conditions necessitate.
At each stop, listen for the steward's announcement of the time to return. You may bring hot food and drink onto the coach for eating during the journey, but be careful not to spill hot liquid.
You may remain on the coach if you wish.
Please return to the coach as soon as you are able to after the match.
At a service area, be back at the coach by the time previously announced.
If you cannot find the coach, phone the Coachline 07519 845714. If you use the popular What3Words location app, we will be able to assist you more quickly. But don’t panic – we don’t leave people behind!
We have a tradition of occasionally bringing home Albion fans who are otherwise stranded at away grounds. They will not be booked onto our coach, but we will assess them for health and safety issues. They will have to pay the one-way fare.
The decision is that of the steward, but we ask for your co-operation in these circumstances.
If an emergency occurs on board, for instance a fire or a medical situation, alert the steward as quickly as you can and return to your seat if it is safe to do so.
In an emergency, listen for any announcements from either the driver (who is ultimately in charge) or the steward.
If the coach needs to be evacuated:
Leave your belongings on board and exit the coach quickly, in orderly fashion.
Walk along the aisle – do not run.
Be aware of traffic in the vicinity as you get off the coach, especially if you use an emergency off-side exit.
Move behind any safety / crash barriers. If you need assistance to do this, ask for it. Do not remain on the traffic side of a barrier.
Stand well away from coach if you can. Do not stand in front of it, ahead of it or behind it, in case it is struck by another vehicle.
Do not board the coach again without a clear instruction from the driver or steward.
Arrival after kick-off
Our top priority is the health and safety of all those on board. The next priority is to get you to the match on time.
If we arrive after kick-off because of our arrangements, we will offer fair recompense to passengers. If it's not our fault, for instance because of an accident, we are unable to offer any refund. However, as we are a service for supporters we will look favourably on offering passengers a future fare reduction.
If late arrival is due to a failure on behalf of the coach company, for instance a breakdown or driver error, we will offer an appropriate refund as we would expect recompense from the coach company.
In the event of a match postponed after departure, we will return home as soon as we can. We offer either a refund of your fare or to carry it over to your next journey as you decide in this instance.
We need your name and contact details, but we'll be careful with your data.
When you book for the first time we need to know who you are, so we will ask for your name, contact number and email address. We will hold this information to make booking quicker in future, but please let us know of any changes.
If you’re booking for more than one person you need only provide one contact number etc, but we do need to know the names of all your fellow travellers.
We recommend that you also provide the phone number of someone to contact in case of an emergency.
We will retain this data for our coach operation as long as we need to, or until you ask us to delete it. We will pass it on only:
In an emergency.
If we are required to do so by a lawful agency such as the police.
If you commit a serious offence.
When booking, you can let us know if you wish of any medical issues you might have so that we can care for you appropriately during the day, particularly if you should be involved in an emergency.
Please let us know if you are extremely vulnerable to respiratory infections such as Covid-19 and flu, so that we can seat you appropriately.
Let us know if you have a severe allergy, for instance to a particular foodstuff, so that we can ask other passengers not to bring the offending items on board.
The steward on the day will be made aware of these issues, but any sensitive information you give will remain confidential except in an emergency.
We work hard to provide the best experience for passengers, whatever their age or ability. We will make representations, but ultimately we have to abide by any restrictions imposed at the stadium by the authorities, and we cannot automatically drop off next to the football ground.
We are, though, familiar with the designated drop-off and collection points for most of the grounds we visit, which often include short walks.
Note that there are relatively long walks to/from Chelsea, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and perhaps Wolves. Directions will be given and group walks organised where required.
If you have mobility issues, feel free to discuss them with us when booking.
We welcome helpful feedback.
We invite passengers to comment on their experience after each trip. If you think we can improve something then let us know.
We reserve the right to amend this Guide during the season if required. This is version 2324.4, dated 17 August 2023.