Eastbourne hospital travel: Survey launched to find out if a shuttle bus is needed

The MP for Eastbourne wants to find out if there’s a need for a hospital shuttle bus through a new campaign with the Herald.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 4:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 2:34 pm

Currently healthcare services are spread across the DGH, Hastings Conquest and Bexhill Hospital which means Eastbourne residents can be asked to travel to get to their appointments.

None of the hospitals are next to a train station, and while there are regular bus stops nearby, there is nothing available that directly connects the three sites.

Currently it takes two and a half hours to get from the DGH to Conquest by two separate buses.

Eastbourne DGH

This means people are heavily reliant on cars – causing them to take taxis if they do not have access to a car or cannot drive following treatment.

A taxi can take up to an hour at peak times, costing between £35-50 each way.

Eastbourne resident Helen Piniger said her ‘patience has worn thin over the last 18 months’ because she’s spent lots of money on taxis to and from the hospitals.

She said regular buses aren’t always an option due to locations they pick up/drop off and timings means she could be walking around in the dark, something she said would increase her ‘sense of vulnerability’.

Now Caroline Ansell is working with the Herald on a campaign to see if there’s a need for a shuttle bus service.

Mrs Ansell said, “I know from my postbag that getting to the Conquest in particular from Eastbourne for treatment is an issue. I just do not know how big and this is why we need this survey.”

By residents filling in the survey, the scale and scope of the problem can be revealed.

Mrs Ansell said from this she can ‘make the best possible case for funding any solution or initiative to help’.

This solution could be better signposting to financial help, or a dedicated shuttle bus service.

Have your say by filling in the survey.