Proposed cuts will be detrimental

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Only five Conservative councillors, members of East Sussex County Council Cabinet, were eligible to vote on the decisions to consult on drastic changes to the bus schedules in this area

I can speak at Cabinet but not vote and thus am unable to fully represent my residents.

I welcome Mr Russell-Moyle’s views (SE July 11) but advise that he watch the webcast of ESCC Cabinet (July 1). He will see that I believe the proposed cuts to the bus services are just a disaster for the county.

The Conservative proposals will add to the already dense and unacceptable levels of traffic on roads.

The consultant papers describe the enormous cuts changing a daily bus service to a two day service “except for commuter” buses... but the small print reveals that these commuter buses will ONLY run during term time. So my vision of having an integrated bus/train timetable where village buses connect with the trains (and thus avoiding cars coming to Lewes train station).

The cuts do not consider the building of affordable housing in Lewes District and the location of the work place which will add costs to low income families.

The cuts do not recognise that working from 9 - 5 is becoming part of history. In this county we work to different hours, whether we are working part-time or working on flexi time.

ESCC has invested in high speed broadband to boost the rural economy, but no benefit will be seen if transport links are broken.

ESCC claims that one of its top priorities is to protect the vulnerable.

The changes proposed in the consultation do not take into account that residents in the villages need to come into Lewes or South Chailey, some for medical at doctors’ surgeries, consultant visits at the Victoria Hospital or dental appointments, and it will be impossible to arrange appointments around restricted bus schedules. Further, many villagers come to Lewes for ‘shopping’ but this includes socially meeting friends, having lunch or using the Lewes Leisure Centre, the only covered pool in the area and much used by those needing recuperative physical activity after illness or injury. A restricted time table will hit the Lewes shops and cafes and more importantly add to the very social isolation the government claims they want to address.

I would urge everyone to take part in this consultation. I want to examine the costs. Why are we using large diesel buses, when other places, such as Milton Keynes are using electric vehicles; are buses running the routes that service our outlying newer communities and are the routes going the ‘right’ way. Finally, are roads working to give the prioirty to buses and avoid unscheduled delays?

Rosalyn St Pierre

ESCC Ringmer and Lewes Bridge