Disabled people lose valued coach service

ESDA Coach Services SUS-141231-113556001
ESDA Coach Services SUS-141231-113556001

An Eastbourne-based organisation that was committed to making transport accessible for disabled members of the public has gone into voluntary liquidation.

The East Sussex Disability Association’s (ESDA) Coach Services has three 30-seat, fully accessible coaches that allowed disabled and non-disabled passengers to easily travel together across Sussex.

However, the company announced news of its liquidation via Facebook last week and apologised to all those who use the service.

The statement said, “We are really sorry to have to tell you this, but as of Friday, December 19 2014, ESDA Coach Services (ESDACS Ltd) will no longer be in operation as their board have taken steps to place the company into voluntary liquidation.

“The ESDA board recognise all that the ESDACS Ltd board have done to try to avoid having to shut down and we realise that this decision will be extremely disappointing and upsetting for ESDACS staff, our local groups, other disability organisations and disabled people who have always valued the service highly.

“We are very sorry to have to break the news like this, but we know that the ESDACS Ltd board explored all other potential options and the situation leaves them with no alternative other than to close the service with immediate effect.”

ESDA as a registered charity, which is based in Faraday Close, will continue to run and its services from the Centre for Independent Living will not be affected by ESDA Coach Services’ sudden liquidation. ESDA Trustees and managers will now be working hard to find alternative transport solutions to support local services, both their own and those run by others,

ESDA Coach Service was an approved member of the East Sussex County Council’s Support with Confidence scheme.

It would disabled people the opportunity to travel across the county, including to things such as lunch venues, public gardens, garden centres, shopping centres, museums and wildlife attractions.

It would also run occasional field trips to London so people could attend theatres and shows in the West End.

ESDA Coach Services’ liquidation comes just after the announcement from East Sussex County Council that £1.8 million in transportation funding has been cut from their budget for the coming year.

East Sussex County Council hope the implementation of the proposed reformulated supported bus network (RSBN) will save £1.88million in public money - £0.57m in 2014/15 and a further £1.31m in 2015/16.

In order to save money, the RSBN will see a reduction in services, including getting rid of 13 evenings and Sunday services across East Sussex.

The council insists 91 per cent of all current passengers on the East Sussex bus network will be unaffected by the changes.