Hailsham council debates future of bus services

HAILSHAM Town Council will meet tomorrow (September 2) to discuss the future of its community bus service, with one service carrying very few passengers.

The town council has spent 3120 since December 2009 – 80 per week – on the Cuckmere Community Bus Friday morning H4 after residents from Gleneagles Drive in North Hailsham asked for a local service.

This once-a-week bus makes two journeys, carrying up to 10 passengers a day.

This has been the case since it started running last year as part of a town-wide revamp of the community bus service.

Phillip Ayers, director of Cuckmere Community Bus since it was set up in 1976, said, "That service (Friday morning) has never done particularly well and it was thought if we could run it in the morning more people might use it.

"But we are not attracting a lot of people and with money tight they (the council) want to see value for their money.

"But that service could not run without support."

The H4 Friday morning service runs from Hailsham High Street to Upper Horsebridge Stores, leaving at 10.03am and 12.03am.

The H4 also runs a two-journey service on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons.

Councillor Barry Marlowe, who will be attending the Thursday meeting, said "At the moment we are not getting bums on seats for the Friday morning service."

A council spokesman said, "This sum (80 per week) was agreed by the council in order to encourage Hailsham residents to use their local bus to bring them into Hailsham town centre and use local shops."

Other Hailsham community buses carry up to 200 people per day, but some make more daily journeys.

Cuckmere Community Bus have a fleet of eight buses which are all driven by volunteers.

If you would like to offer your services please call John: 07802 305155.