Bus route change plan in Lewes prompts concern

North Way, Lewes.
North Way, Lewes.

Proposed changes to a bus route on the Nevill Estate in Lewes have been causing concern.

Residents fear the Compass Buses plans for the 128/129 service will have a detrimental effect.

The existing route takes the bus along Windover Crescent, right into North Way – where it stops at the top of the road – and then down Middle Way.

The proposal is to go straight from Windover Crescent into Cross Way and then left into Middle Way lower down, cutting out the bus stop at the top of North Way.

Compass Buses stated the reason for change was because its vehicles cannot get round the corner from Windover Crescent into North Way because of the parked cars. There are also problems with the height of the kerb and some buses have been damaged.

Local Councillor Ruth O’Keeffe has received a number of letters and emails from people unhappy with any change to the route. They object to the loss of a bus stop and fear a bus using Cross Way would be a hazard to children who play on the grass area there.

In addition, residents are not convinced that Cross Way is significantly easier for the bus to get along as there is considerable car parking there, too.

Cllr O’Keeffe has sent a questionnaire to nearly 500 households asking for opinions and will be taking the matter up with the bus company and the county Highways department.

“I would like to have as much information as possible from residents,” wrote the Independent Town and District Councillor for Lewes Priory Ward and Independent County Councillor, Lewes Division.

She had a 25 per cent response rate within three days of her letter going out.

The vast majority of local people did not want the route to change. They feel parking restrictions to enable the bus to get round the corner are preferable to losing the stop at the top of the estate.

Cllr O’Keeffe said that from the initial responses, 100 per cent wanted to keep the North Way stop and 98 per cent would support parking restrictions to allow easier access for buses to the road.

Eighty-six per cent did not want to see Cross Way on the route and 72 per cent were concerned about children’s safety.

“This strongly shows people want to keep the bus route the way it is and I’m going to to do everything I can to make sure that happens,” said Cllr O’Keeffe.