Town deserves better bus service

I WRITE concerning the continuing decline of the services offered by Stagecoach in Eastbourne.

It was a sad day when the council agreed to sell off our locally-owned and run bus service to the highest bidder.

I feel an opportunity was missed where the service would have been much more efficient being operated by Brighton & Hove Buses.

This company regularly tops good satisfaction services for efficiency and customer service.

The ‘service’ offered by Stagecoach pales in comparison.

Many of the services are late (particularly on the Hastings-Bexhill-Eastbourne section), and the staff are generally rude, abrupt and unpleasant.

They rarely smile or say please or thank you and are obviously unhappy at doing their job.

Buses on this particular route often turn up 40 minutes late, full - with an empty bus behind.

This is often blamed on ‘traffic’ and ‘roadworks’. Surely it can’t be beyond the imagination of a route planner to rectify this.

Stagecoach can also hardly be called local. It is an international company operating buses, coaches, trains and ferries throughout the UK, USA and Canada.

It has regularly attracted the attention of the Monopolies Commission for aggressive behaviour towards smaller operators and for antagonistic pricing.

Complaints are dismissed and I am lead to understand the company only employs a single inspector on the whole route that covers Eastbourne, Bexhill, Hastings and Rye.

It is time that the company took notice of its customers and smartened up its act.

The service is poor; customer relations are terrible and the staff require retraining. Eastbourne deserves better.

Mike Allaway

Royal Parade