Hastings’ open-top bus service is cancelled for the year

The open-top bus service in Hastings has been cancelled until the end of the summer season.

The number 66 service from Stagecoach had returned to the town in May after a year off due to the pandemic.

However, in an update to users, the company said the service has been cancelled until August 31 due to a ‘poorly bus and a shortage of bus drivers’.

As a result, the number 66 bus has been retired early this year.

Picture: Stagecoach SUS-210427-170410001

Stagecoach said: “We’re sorry to say that our Hastings open-top number 66 bus won’t be running again this season.

“A poorly bus and a shortage of bus drivers means that we reluctantly have to retire the service early this year.

“Big thanks to all our friends and customers in Hastings for your help and support.”

The colourful open-top bus first operated in Hastings in 2019, but the transport operator placed the special service on hold last year as a result of lockdown and travel restrictions.

Picture: Stagecoach SUS-210427-170359001

It had returned in May and was due to operate daily between July 26 and September for families to enjoy during the summer break, but now will not do so.

Katherine Jones, Operations Manager for Stagecoach in Hastings, said: “Sadly, we’ve had to make the tough decision to suspend the open-top service for the rest of this season. Our open-top bus is currently off the road awaiting repair work and, like many businesses, we have some colleagues that are needing to self-isolate in line with current government advice, as well as unrelated driver shortages.

“At a time when Covid-19 is still impacting the shape of transport services, we need to make the best use of resources to ensure the widest benefit in our community.”