Bus cuts will leave elderly stranded

Letter to East Sussex County Council

I am writing to you and Norman Baker regarding the planned 129 bus changes by East Sussex County Council in 2015. I hope you can explain why they are trying to cut the bus service to Winterbourne, an area that is extremely hilly

and where they have purposely built housing for the elderly. Cutting down the buses from one hour to two hourly is a mistake as the buses are full – at times running once an hour with barely room for children in push-chairs and adult passengers.

I used to work at Meadow Lodge in rehabilitation, where I saw clients who could barely lift their heads off the pillow walk out the front door after having a few weeks of physiotherapy. Keeping older people active has proven to save the council money because they can remain in their own home instead of going into care. We must keep the bus coming down our area in order to keep people who would normally not be able to get out for shopping, hair and medical appointments, keep active. It would cost the council more money to have to pay for them to go into care due to mental and physical impairment because they couldn’t get out shopping and chatting and meeting with passengers at the bus stop and on the buses.

I, myself, have made many new friends by taking the 129 bus. I think of the bus as a “community centre on wheels” with all the chatting that goes on and the meeting of people who we only see on the bus or haven’t seen in a long time.

Take my word for it, it is extremely important that we oldies keep both physically and mentally active and the bus is a great way for us to keep that way.

Perhaps the East Sussex County Council should think about how much money they might save instead of how much it costs them to keep the buses running.

Joyce Brett

Age 75 years, Lewes