Plugging the big gap in public transport


Local bus operator Cuckmere Buses has stepped in again to fill a big gap in the seasonal timetables.

Hailsham Town Council, along with Polegate Town Council and Heathfield and Waldron Parish Council, is part-subsidising the cost of running a special service on New Year’s Day on Cuckmere Buses route 50 from Heathfield to Eastbourne via Hailsham and Polegate.

Cuckmere Buses, which is run entirely by volunteers, was concerned that Hailsham would be left without any public transport on January 1 as the commercial bus companies normally serving the town do not operate on this day, leaving Hailsham residents without a transport link to Polegate train station or Eastbourne town centre. The number 50 service will start operating from Heathfield at 9.35am (Hailsham 9.57am and Polegate 9.06am) and hourly until its last return journey at 17.40 from Eastbourne.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Cuckmere Buses has run this special bus service.

Town councillor Barry Marlowe, who is also lead member of the Wealden Bus Alliance, said, “The town council is pleased to be supporting Cuckmere Buses’ New Year’s Day service, which will enable people to visit friends and loved ones in neighbouring towns, allow bargain hunters to reach Eastbourne town centre easily to do a spot of shopping, or just to simply to go for a festive pint in Hailsham town centre.

“This service is vital for those who will use it and I’m delighted to hear about the positive feedback received from passengers who used the service in previous years, expressing their delight and thanks to the volunteer drivers. It’s a privilege for Hailsham Town Council to support this essential service financially and both the town council and Wealden Bus Alliance will continue to work with Cuckmere Buses and indeed other local bus operators to help provide public transport services aimed at benefiting everyone locally.”

Cuckmere Buses Managing Director, Philip Ayers, echoed Cllr Marlowe’s sentiments, saying, “The company is pleased to step in and provide this vital service when commercial operators are unable to do so. We have been delighted by public reaction to these services and hope they will be well used again this year.”

Full details of the New Year’s Day number 50 service are available now on the Cuckmere Buses website ( and via the Wealden Bus Alliance’s website: