A petition has been launched to reinstate a 12-minute Loop bus service in Eastbourne after it was announced it will be reduced to one bus every half an hour.
Stagecoach said the popular service will be cut from September 8 to “improve punctuality” affected by traffic hold-ups at Hampden Park level crossing.
Resident Dave Poole set up the petition on Change.org, and says reducing the service is not the answer.
He said, “Waiting up to an hour for a delayed Loop is unacceptable. The overcrowding would be unbearable.
“The unemployed are at serious risk of having their JSA stopped if they are late to an interview as a result of an inadequate service. Staff at the DWP are not sympathetic to ‘late bus’ excuses.
“With the unreasonable amount we are charged for bus fares for a pitiful ‘service’ we would like to respectfully ask for the reinstatement of a decent service for those served by the Loop buses, back to every twelve minutes or a suitable alternative. The ‘level crossing’ excuse is no longer acceptable.”
Responding to the petition, a spokesperson for Stagecoach said, “When we make changes it’s really important we do so to help improve the service for our customers. Journey times on the Loop have become longer over the years as traffic congestion increases and average road speed decreases.
“Unfortunately this means the reliability of the service is affected because buses can’t get round the route within the scheduled time – that’s why we need to adjust the timetable.
“Rising levels of traffic and congestion on the roads is a massive challenge and we’ll always look at making changes that help our services cope better and become more resilient to these conditions to give our customers confidence that the bus will run on time.
“We’re also working closely with local, county and highway authorities to support them to urgently reduce traffic levels in urban areas, improve traffic flow and encourage sustainable transport.”
And in response to Mr Poole’s concern regarding travel for jobseekers, the spokesperson said, “We have a longstanding discount scheme for jobseekers. If you’re a jobseeker who has a Jobcentre Plus travel card, you can get half price single and return tickets at anytime.”
To view the petition visit Change.org