Dozens use New Year bus service in Wealden

Cllr Barry Marlowe with CCB volunteers
Cllr Barry Marlowe with CCB volunteers

More than 100 people used a special New Year’s Day bus service - which saw volunteer drivers step in to fill the gap in the seasonal timetable.

Cuckmere Buses operated a bus service from Heathfield to Eastbourne via Hailsham and Polegate on New Year’s Day.

Volunteers from the service were concerned Hailsham would be left without any public transport on January 1 as the commercial bus services which usually serve the town do not operate.

It means Hailsham residents are left without a transport link to Polegate train station or Eastbourne town centre.

It is the fourth consecutive year Cuckmere Buses has run this special bus service part-underwritten by Hailsham Town Council, Polegate Town Council and Heathfield and Waldron Parish Council.

Hailsham town councillor Barry Marlowe, who is also lead member of the Wealden Bus Alliance, said he was delighted to hear the positive feedback received from passengers who used the service, expressing their thanks to the volunteer drivers.

He said: “Christmas and New Year can be a very busy and expensive time of year for many people. Cuckmere Buses is pleased to be playing its part by offering great value travel on New Year’s Day, making it easier for people to visit family and friends.

“Hailsham Town Council is pleased to have supported Cuckmere Buses once again in enabling this vital service, and will continue to support them and other local bus operators to make service improvements in the future, specifically for those who cannot access the conventional public transport network.”

Cuckmere Buses managing director Philip Ayers was one of the drivers on the New Year’s Day service.

He said: “It was wonderful to see the happy and smiling faces as well as thanks from our passengers.

“As we are volunteers, this is what makes the job so worthwhile for us and we thank the three local councils so much for their invaluable support, without which, we would not be able to provide this service.”

For full details of the Cukmere buses service visit its website at cuckmerebuses.org.uk

You can also visit the Wealden Bus Alliance website at wealdenbus.org.uk

Demand for the buses means additional drivers are needed.

If you are over 25 and able to offer your services and would like more information on volunteer training opportunities, contact Philip Ayers on 01323 870920.