Popular bus service reprieved

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A COMMUNITY bus service has survived the chop at the 11th hour.

Eastbourne Community Bus was threatened with the axe when the county council reviewed its bus services.

But county-wide contract negotiations with bus companies gave the Eastbourne Dial-a-Ride bus a last-minute reprieve.

The service is used by the elderly, vulnerable and those who find it difficult to use normal means of transport. For just £2 the bus makes regular door-to-door trips to supermarkets, Eastbourne Age Concern and the Arndale Centre.

County council lead member for transport and environment Matthew Lock said the council had managed to make £430,000 in savings which allowed it to foot the bill for the Eastbourne service.

The bus was due to make its last ride on April 28, but ESCC announced the funding injection for Community Transport for the Lewes Area the day before, securing its short-term survival.

Bus driver Trevor Loft said, “The passengers on the bus have become real friends and I hated the idea of letting them all down by stopping the service. This is good news all round.”

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd said, “Dial-a-Ride in Eastbourne is an incredibly valuable service and very popular with many of my older constituents.”