PEOPLE living on the Landport Estate have been getting a raw deal when it comes to bus services, claims a Lewes Town Councillor who has successfully campaigned for improvements.
Green Susan Murray (Castle Ward) said: “The Landport Residents’ Association has brought to my attention various concerns about the 127 bus which serves the estate.
“As their town councillor I certainly agreed with them that they were not getting a fair deal as far as their bus services are concerned, especially when the nature of their location means that the 127 is the only bus service they have access to.”
As a result she has written to Countryliner Bus Services, copied to Public Transport Services at East Sussex County Council.
Cllr Murray said one of the main concerns was about the cost of journeys on the 127 bus. The cost of a single journey is £1.45 single, whereas on buses from other Lewes estates it is possible to buy a £1.80 day ticket.
She said: “This was most unfair to Landport residents, many of whom are unemployed or on small incomes and arguably more deprived than residents of Nevill, for instance.
“This arose in part because the county council does not subsidise this route whereas it does subsidise those to perhaps more affluent areas of our town – a very odd set of priorities.
“The residents of Landport understandably wondered why they were apparently not eligible for this subsidy. The perceived unfairness was only increased by the fact that older buses are used on this route which regularly break down, leaving residents without a reliable service.”
Countryliner promised to raise this with the county council and Cllr Murray has now been informed that from Monday, September 17, the Lewes day and weekly ticket will be sold and accepted on Countryliner service 127 between Landport Estate and Lewes.
Cllr Murray continued: “They say that this is a result of successful negotiations between Countryliner and East Sussex County Council, but go on to say that Countryliner have agreed to accept and issue these tickets on a ‘non-subsidy’ basis in consideration of the points I raised with them.
“It is therefore most important to encourage use of the bus to secure the viability of this service into the future. Cllr Murray added: “This is great news for Landport residents, but I also hope that they will now find themselves with a more reliable bus service. A recent incident left them feeling even more like second class citizens in the bus world.
“The bus used for the 127 service was taken off to be used on other routes leaving people expecting to catch the 3.30pm service from the town centre waiting for an hour and a half for the next bus. For people who have to use the bus and for people we would like to use the bus this is just not good enough, reduced fares or not.”