Community bus operator Cuckmere Buses is once again stepping in to fill a gap in the seasonal timetables over the festive break.
Hailsham Town Council, Polegate Town Council and Heathfield and Waldron Parish Council are part-subsidising the cost of running a special service on New Year’s Day on the operator’s route 50 from Heathfield to Eastbourne, via Hailsham and Polegate.
Cuckmere Buses, which is run entirely by volunteers, was concerned that Hailsham would be left without any public transport on January, as the commercial bus companies normally serving the town do not operate on this day.
This would have left Hailsham residents without a link to Polegate railway station or Eastbourne town centre.
The number 50 service will start operating from Heathfield at 8.59am (Hailsham 9.21am and Polegate 9.30am) and hourly until its last return journey at 17.10 from Eastbourne.
This is the third consecutive year that Cuckmere Buses has run this special bus service.
Hailsham councillor and lead member of the Wealden Bus Alliance Barry Marlowe said, “This service is vital for the passengers who will use it and is just one example that demonstrates how working in partnership with our local bus operators will provide a service aimed at benefiting everyone.”
“It is a privilege for Hailsham Town Council to underwrite these essential services and we will continue to support local bus operators to make service improvements, specifically for those who cannot access the conventional public transport network.”
Philip Ayers, managing director of Cuckmere Buses, said, “Cuckmere Buses has tried hard to provide services for the local communities it serves for 37 years. We cannot replace the commercial companies, but try to complement them. As public purse strings tighten, we expect demand for our services to increase over the coming years. I will be out driving myself again this year and look forward to welcoming lots of passengers onto the bus!”
New Year’s Day No. 50 service timetable can be found at www.cuckmerebuses.org.uk