East Sussex County Council (ESCC) is planning to save around £1.79 million on the latest round of bus service cuts.
If it goes ahead with its plans, this will lead to some services disappearing altogether, no buses running on Sundays and no more buses after 7pm in the evenings.
This includes 20, 21 and 22. This shall leave many people who are totally dependent upon the buses stranded and they would not be able to access shops, church, hospital and community centres.
With no access to the Conquest Hospital on Sundays, it means that people can’t visit their loved ones. People who are also dependent upon buses to get to and from work would have to lose their jobs and especially if they work shifts. Bus drivers would loose their jobs too.
Many local businesses would go bankrupt and the overseas students who visit Hastings each year are a very valuable source of revenue. If they can’t travel on Sundays or after 7pm in the evenings, this would most likely lead to language schools relocating in other towns.
The loss of revenue would far outstrip the sum of £1.79 million that ESCC plans to save. This would turn Hastings into a ghost town. This is a false economy.
Has ESCC consulted with bus users, local businesses and language schools? I think not.
To add insult to injury Q3 of the ESCC consultation is also preparing bus users for a proposed 30 per cent fares increase. These proposals need to be seriously reconsidered.