Consultation on bus service cuts in East Sussex looms

Have your say on bus cuts.

Have your say on bus cuts.

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Have your say

Time is running out to have your say on controversial changes proposed for bus services in East Sussex.

East Sussex County Council’s 12-week public consultation on alteration to the routes it subsidises in the county runs until Sunday September 28.

The council said supported bus services which operate during peak hours would be largely unchanged and the vast majority of children travelling to their nearest school would be unaffected.

However the plans have come under fire from Lewes MP Norman Baker, who said it would isolate rural communities further.

He added the cuts came at a time when people were being encouraged to travel by public transport.

Seaford is facing losing its Sunday service to Eastbourne and reducing the daily hourly service to two days a week.

Mr Baker said Newhaven residents, braced to lose their last bank and being advised to travel to nearby branches, face having their journey plans scuppered as cuts are proposed to the Lewes to Newhaven service, covering much of the Ouse Valley, from an hourly service to a two-hourly off peak service.

For 91 per cent of current passengers, there would be no change to the services on offer, while more than 95 per cent of users would still have access to a six-day-a-week service.

Cllr Carl Maynard, East Sussex County Council lead member for transport and environment, said: “We have had a big response to the consultation so far and, understandably, it’s an issue which has provoked some strong feelings.

“However, the important thing to stress is that we have not, and will not, make any decision until we are able to fully take into account people’s views on the proposals and how they will affect their lives.

“I’d strongly urge anyone who may be affected by or who would like to comment on the proposals to do so before September 28.”

The council says the proposed changes would allow it to save £1.79m over two years, part of a drive to achieve savings necessitated by cuts in Government funding.

Under the proposals, supported off-peak daytime services that currently run every hour or more frequently would still operate from Monday to Saturday, but with a reduced frequency, while off-peak daytime services operating less than hourly would generally be reduced to a twice-weekly service.

Meanwhile, financial support for 13 evening and Sunday services would be withdrawn and funding for dial-a-ride transport would be reduced to provide a minimum two-days-a-week service.

consultation

Paper copies of the consultation survey are available in all East Sussex libraries, on some bus services and in council-run buildings.

They can also be requested by calling East Sussex County Council on 0345 6080194 or emailing busconsultations@eastsussex.gov.uk

People can also give their comments by writing to Bus changes, East Sussex County Council, County Hall, Lewes, BN7 1BR.

Alternatively they can complete the online comments form at https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk