Evening Uckfield bus service under threat

Chris Smith who is heading up the campaign
Chris Smith who is heading up the campaign

Brighton is off-limits for Uckfield folk who fancy a nice meal out on the coast but don’t want to drink and drive.

Under plans announced by East Sussex County Council, no buses would leave Lewes for Uckfield after 8.55pm from Monday to Saturday. The last bus to Uckfield before this time leaves Brighton at 7.30pm and the Lewes branch of Waitrose at 7.58pm, arriving in Uckfield at 8.07pm.

In the other direction there would be no buses leaving Uckfield after 8.40pm. The last bus to Ringmer from Uckfield before this time leaves at 7.53pm, arriving into Uckfield at 8.30pm.

Lewes Stop the Cuts campaign member Chris Smith commented: “This is very bad news for anyone without a car who wants to go to the cinema, the theatre or a meeting. It is ridiculous that such a large community should be cut off this early. People who want to have a drink in Brighton or Lewes and want to avoid driving will also be cut off.”

A nightclub bus will still probably leave Brighton at 1.30am on Friday and Saturday nights only, calling at Lewes, Ringmer and Uckfield, but this will be too late for most people. Also many might not want to use a bus being used by late night clubbers.

Chris says this cut is just one of many bus cuts proposed across the county to services supported by the council.

Further details about the potential changes can be found at: http://lewesstopthecuts.wordpress.com/

Chris also points out that there are things would-be bus users can do to express their concerns. He suggests ringing East Sussex County Council on 0345 60 80 194 to find out exactly how you will be affected. Ask them how you can take part in the consultation that started on July 7.

People can also tell their County Council member that they want them to oppose the cuts at every opportunity.

There is going to be a public meeting from 7-8pm on September 11 at Westgate Chapel, 92a High Street, Lewes, BN7 1XH to which everyone is welcome.

In the meantime campaigners are starting to plan their fight back. Already they have contacted parish councils, voluntary organisations and trade unions throughout the county alerting them as to what is going on.

They have also created a number of leaflets and flyers publicising the campaign. Other activities are planned. If you would like to know more contact the campaign group directly via Chris Smith on: 01273 483869 or email: cs@hbhelp.co.uk. ESCC urge people to take part in the consultation.