County axes community bus winter service

A BUS service run by volunteers won’t be available this winter due to dwindling passenger numbers.

The Cuckmere Valley Ramblerbus is one of the services run by the Cuckmere Community Bus (CCB) and travels between Seaford, Alfriston, Friston, Litlington and other nearby towns and villages.

However, East Sussex County Council, which subsidises the service, will not be providing funding and instead has put extra money into the Service 126.

This is also run by CCB and covers a slightly larger section than the rambler service, taking in Eastbourne, Polegate and Willingdon as well as Alfriston and Seaford.

Seaford resident Bob Brown said he was saddened by the news and some people would struggle to get by without the transport link.

Philip Ayers, director and organiser of the Cuckmere Community Bus, said, “There really are not many people using it.

“We had a bad winter last year, sometimes we could not run because of the snow.

“We will still be running the 126 service between Seaford, Alfriston, Polegate and Eastbourne throughout the winter.

“I think Alfriston is likely to have the most places open in the winter and people will still have the opportunity to go there.

“The council has supported it for 13 years, I can’t blame them.

“We’re disappointed but the plan is it will come back in March when we will run it at our own financial risk.”

The CCB is a charity which recently celebrated its 35-year anniversary.

A spokesman for East Sussex County Council said, “The Cuckmere Valley Ramblerbus service will not be running this winter as only a very limited number of people use it during the season.

“Instead, we have provided extra funding to Service 126, also run by Cuckmere Community Bus on Sundays, which is growing in popularity and will continue to run all year round.

“The Cuckmere Valley Ramblerbus Sunday service is expected to resume in the spring.”