LETTER: We should support buses

I was interested to read about the proposed cut to the 31 and 231 buses; though these routes do not affect me directly I have discussed with Compass Bus the timing of the 166 through Plumpton.

My wife works for the NHS and used to work at the Princess Royal Hospital (we live in Plumpton). The day shifts for ancillary and nursing staff at PRH start at 7.30am and finish at 8pm, night staff start 7.30pm and finish 8am.

The 166 delivers its first passengers at South Road (10 minute walk from PRH) at 8.09am and takes its last passengers from South Road at 6.23pm. So ancillary and nursing staff living on the route can’t use the bus and have to pay to park at work, which fills the car park so patients and visitors struggle to find parking places. Since ESCC subsidises this route it would make sense to timetable buses to deliver and collect workers from the hospital to improve facilities for everyone. On being asked why this does not happen, Compass Bus said ESCC determines the timetable. ESCC says it is a limited service.

So, why do we subsidise buses running when we don’t want to use them when there are times of day when we obviously do want to use them?

Why does the operator site ‘viability’ as a reason for cutting a service when a publicly subsidised service is patently not a commercial proposition in the first place?

Should the service be commercially viable, why are our taxes subsidising it?

It seems to me if we supported public transport at times to get people to and from work, living in the country would be a more viable proposition for young people. The roads would be clearer at those times of day and maybe it would be easier to get a parking space at the hospital.

Jerry Gould

(ESCC Labour Candidate; Ouse Valley West and the Downs)

Wales Farm Lane