A bid to drive uptake for a bus linking Hailsham to the capital city has been backed by two high profile passengers .
Wealden MP Charles Hendry and Hailsham hotelier Sheikh Abid-Gulzar will be taking the bus to work on Monday morning from Hailsham to London Victoria.
Their message to readers of the Sussex Express was clear – please make use of the new National Express service from Eastbourne to London via Hailsham.
The service was launched last summer after a determined campaign by Wealden Tory district councillor Barry Marlowe, who collected a 625-signature petition.
He realises the need for it to be used well and wants to increase demand for the bus, which leaves Eastbourne.
It leaves from railway station car park at 7.30am, stops at Hailsham in North Street at 7.50am, and then reaches London Victoria at 10.45am via Uckfield, East Grinstead and Gatwick Airport.
The return journey leaves Victoria at 7pm, arrives at Hailsham at 9.20pm and finishes at Eastbourne Railway Station at 9.45pm.
Mr Marlowe said: “This service only came about because of a community campaign – the number of signatories was testament to that.
“Now I want to make sure that people are aware of the service and indeed using it, so I am delighted that our MP and Mr Gulzar will be joining us.’
Mr Gulzar said he is delighted to be joining the MP, but also encourages more members of the public to join them both on Monday.
The businessman opened the 48-bedroom Lions Boship Farm Hotel earlier this year during a ceremony attended by the town’s most high profile people.
He said: “I always believe in supporting my MP, but this is also about supporting Mr Marlowe and a great community service.
“This will give us more than seven hours in London, which is much better than what was on offer before.”
Mr Hendry, Mr Gulzar and Mr Marlowe will be met at Victoria by National Express executives, and the coach being used on Monday is named in memory of the late Polegate former councillor Ray Martin.
Mr Martin also had a road named after him in Polegate’s town centre during a ceremony watched by family and friends and led by MP Norman Baker,