IN A CASE of power to the people, a campaign organised by a Hailsham councillor has led to National Express running a new coach service from Eastbourne to London.
Barry Marlowe, a member of Hailsham Town Council and Wealden District Council, took a petition signed by 625 people to Birmingham last July calling on the coach company to bring back an early morning service to London.
Now National Express has announced that from Monday July 2 a new service will operate from Eastbourne to London.
Passengers will be able to enjoy more than eight hours in the capital, arriving at 10.45am and departing at 7pm, giving plenty of time for shopping, sightseeing, restaurants, theatres and museums.
For those making longer journeys there is now a better choice of nationwide onward connections.
This new service also includes a daily direct journey to Gatwick Airport, a particular benefit to residents of all the towns where there is no direct rail link.
The coach sets off from Eastbourne at 7.30am and will call at Hailsham at 7.50am, Uckfield at 8.15am, Nutley, Forest Row and East Grinstead, continuing to Gatwick Airport (9.05am) and London Victoria.
Mr Marlowe said there was a ‘considerable amount of interest and support surrounded the campaign’.
He is delighted with these new services and thanked Mike Lambden, of National Express, who accepted the petition in Birmingham.
“Mr Lambden maintained regular contact until he announced this new, improved service. This is a good example of a national company listening and responding to its customers’ requests,” he said
Thanks also went to those who signed the petition and the 14 shops and businesses that supported and promoted the campaign.
Wealden MP Charles Hendry, who lent his enthusiastic support throughout the campaign, said: “I am delighted to learn that this coach service has been re-instated.
“It is an important link between communities in the South-East and offers Sussex residents an alternative form of transport to London.”
“I would like to thank Barry Marlowe and all others involved in making this happen, if it had not been for all their hard-work the National Express service may not have made its way back to this part of Sussex.”
Further background to the campaign, with full timetable can be found at www.barrymarlowe.co.uk