LETTER: Bus needed on New Year’s Day

A few notes on those responsible for bus services around the area. Stagecoach seems to be getting complacent that they have no competition in this area.

Once again there are no buses on New Year’s Day despite the fact that Eastbourne has a large workforce who are required to work on that day.

What a quaint, 20th century way to run a multi-national bus service! Hold on, though. New Year’s Day wasn’t a public holiday until 1974 and Eastbourne Buses certainly ran a service on that day throughout the rest of the century and up to their takeover. Note that West Sussex Stagecoach services are running on Boxing Day.

This year, with Christmas being on a Friday, those who are lonely have four days of misery to put up with without having to go through another miserable day where they can’t get about. Plus what about the season-ticket holders who get ripped off by paying for the three days?

Considering that this is the 21st century, we should definitely have a service on Boxing Day and a skeleton service on Christmas Day should really be in action by now.

I will say that I’m pleased with the introduction of wifi on certain buses and that I got a prompt and satisfactory reply to a recent complaint. But I doubt if many of their regular customers will have a good word to say about them.

Their website says that they have a 97 per cent punctuality record. A rather swashbuckling claim considering that 100 per cent of the buses I’ve wanted to catch recently have been seriously late!

They still don’t seem to be able to get their heads round the real-time technology which they inherited in 2008 – in fact, whereas Eastbourne Buses had got some of their displays showing true real-time information based on GPS on buses, they now have none and they don’t even bother loading timetable information onto them anymore.

Memo to East Sussex County Council – when the displays finally do get round to working, we don’t want the displays at little-used stops clustered around the town centre. We’d rather a few more around the suburbs – why hasn’t Langney Shopping Centre got one?

Back to Stagecoach. I’m not the only one who gets angry about the fact that so many real-time boards say ‘Please refer to timetable’ only to find a blank board inside the shelter with nothing inside.

If you can’t print up an individual timetable for the bus stop, we’ll be happy with the relevant timetable page stuck inside it.

Of course, then there’s the stops themselves. Funnily enough, the only shelters which seem to have working lights nowadays are the redundant ones like the one in Langney Rise and along the top of Brodrick Road. These are maintained by Clear Channel and, obviously, non-working lights aren’t evident when they’re checked during the daytime. If you look inside the roof of the shelter, there’s a number for the shelter and you can report affected stops if you phone up Clear Channel on their Freephone number on 0800 7313699.

Dave Poole

Penhurst Close

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