Community bus is a hit in Hailsham

Cllr Barry Marlowe (right) with Cuckmere Community Bus volunteers

Cllr Barry Marlowe (right) with Cuckmere Community Bus volunteers

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A NEW community bus route has been a roaring success and well-used by Hailsham residents.

The Cuckmere Community Bus service was set up following a proposal from Hailsham Town Council and follows a circular route from Polegate station where it connects with fast trains from Brighton, Lewes, Ashford, Hastings and Eastbourne.

The service is operating on a trial basis for 2012 and runs on the second Friday of every month from March through to November.

The bus runs via Wartling to the Observatory Science Centre and Herstmonceux Castle, returning through Hailsham.

It will operate on an hourly frequency from 10am until 5pm using a 16-seat minibus with a low floor for easy access.

The service, which has been made possible by a grant from the government’s new Community Transport Fund, was set up to link local attractions such as the Science Observatory Centre and Herstmonceux Castle with Polegate and Hailsham, and is operated by the award-winning Cuckmere Community Bus.

Town councillor Barry Marlowe, a founding member of the Hailsham Bus Alliance, said, “I am absolutely delighted to see this new service introduced, which will be of great benefit to visitors to these local attractions as well as a boon for Hailsham residents, who now have an additional nine journeys available each month from the town centre to Polegate railway station.

“Hailsham Town Council has worked closely with Cuckmere Community Bus in recent years to develop supplementary public transport links in and around Hailsham.

“Independent buses such as these that complement existing operators are of great benefit for people living in Hailsham travelling to and from surrounding villages. It is a privilege for the Town Council to underwrite these essential services.”

Full details of the service are available now on the Cuckmere Community Bus website (www.cuckmerebus.freeuk.com) and will be published shortly on their new timetable.

Further information can also be found on the Hailsham Bus Alliance’s website: www.hailshambus.org.uk.

Demand for the Cuckmere Community Bus service means that additional volunteer drivers are needed.

If you are over 25 years of age, able to offer your services and would like more information on volunteer training opportunities, contact Philip Ayers on 01323 870920 or 07802 305155.