All change on the buses as views sought


Bus passengers are to have a say on controversial changes to the service locally to cut costs.

Residents are being asked for their views on changes to the way East Sussex County Council subsidises bus services after the authority’s cabinet committee agreed a 12 week public consultation into services the taxpayer financially supports.

The services effected could be the 126 service between Eastbourne and Seaford, the 143 service from Lewes to Eastbourne and the Polegate and Seaford dial a ride schemes.

The proposals suggest supported off-peak daytime services that currently operate hourly or better would still operate Monday to Saturday with a reduced frequency, off peak daytime services that currently operate less than hourly would generally be reduced to a service operating two days a week.

Financial support for 13 evening and Sunday services would be withdrawn and funding for dial-a-ride transport reduced to provide a minimum two days a week service. Under the proposals, supported services which operate during peak hours would be largely unchanged and the vast majority of children travelling to their nearest school would be unaffected. For 91 per cent of current passengers, there would be no change to the services on offer, while more than 95 per cent of users would still have access to a six day a week service.

Carl Maynard, the county council’s lead member for transport and environment, said, “We need to strike the right balance between financially supporting privately-owned bus companies to run economically not viable services around the county and ensuring taxpayers are getting value for money and that the limited funds we have benefit those most in need. Under these proposals, peak services are generally unaffected meaning those people travelling to work, education or training can continue to do so using supported services. During off-peak hours passengers would generally have access to services, but may find they are reduced.”

Consultation starts Monday July 7.