Delight as community bus service saves the day
A community bus which saved the day for residents wanting to travel to Eastbourne on New Year’s Day has been hailed a success.
Hailsham town councillors say they are “absolutely delighted” after hearing the special January 1 bus service they helped to secure was used by more than 100 people and it demonstrated the effectiveness of working in partnership with local bus companies.
Local bus operator Cuckmere Community Bus (CCB) stepped in to fill a big gap in the seasonal timetables over the festive break by operating a special bus service from Heathfield to Eastbourne via Hailsham and Polegate on New Year’s Day.
CCB, which is run entirely by volunteers, was concerned that Hailsham would be left without any public transport on January 1, as the commercial bus companies normally serving the town do not operate on this day, leaving Hailsham residents without a transport link to Polegate train station or Eastbourne town centre.
It was the second consecutive year that CCB has run the special bus service part-underwritten this year by Hailsham Town Council.
Barry Marlowe, the oversight councillor for public transport links at the town council and lead member of the Hailsham Bus Alliance, was delighted to hear about the positive feedback received from passengers who used the service this year, expressing their delight and thanks to the volunteer drivers.
He said, “The town council is pleased to have supported CCB once again in enabling this vital service and it is just one example that demonstrates how working in partnership with our local bus operators will provide a service aimed at benefiting everyone.”
“CCB has worked closely with the town council over the last seven years to develop supplementary public transport links in and around Hailsham and will continue to support them and local bus operators to make service improvements in the future, specifically for those who cannot access conventional public transport.”
CCB organiser Philip Ayers was one of the drivers on the New Year’s Day service and said, “We are delighted to have been able to provide a service through Hailsham when no other operator was running and were pleased with the number of passengers carried and their reaction to us was fantastic. We shall certainly do it again when no other services are running and are most grateful to Hailsham Town Council for their financial support of this venture. We look forward to continuing excellent partnership working in the town.”
Demand for the CCB service means additional volunteer drivers are needed and anyone over 25 years of age, who can offer their services and would like more information on volunteer training opportunities should contact Philip Ayers on 870920 or John on 07802 305155.
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Weather for Eastbourne
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 11 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North west