Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Now is the time to act

There won’t be any buses, but if there were, they would have wifi!

Research by campaigners fighting to defend bus services in East Sussex reveals a bizarre labyrinth of funding where bus services are threatened because money is being wasted and misdirected, writes Lewes Stop the Cuts media officer Chris Smith.

Lewes Stop the Cuts is a non-aligned campaign group opposed to cuts in public services affecting Lewes. It has over 450 supporters who are sent regular updates. To subscribe visit their website.

So, what has that got to do with Hastings?

It’s not just Lewes bus services which are affected – details of the proposed cuts to bus services in Hastings and Rye can be found in the table below. See also Business in Hastings. According to Chris Smith, the fact that no-one is taking responsibility for a co-ordinated approach means that:

  • The government is funding the provision of Wifi on rural bus services, but East Sussex County Council wants to cut most rural bus services, partly because the government has abolished rural bus grants.
  • The government is funding a new bus/rail interchange in Newhaven, but bus cuts to Newhaven suburban buses mean that residents in Denton, Heighton and parts of Newhaven Town will have great difficulty using it because they will have to wait up to 2 hours for a bus.
  • The government and the county council says it wants to cut congestion and pollution, but is forcing more people to use cars by cutting buses
  • The main bus company in Hastings appears to be making significant profits by cherry picking the routes it runs, while other vital Hastings routes are threatened with cuts and closure. The county council could introduce a better bus scheme or a quality bus contract, which would stop this happening, but it declines to do so.
  • Government funding promotes leisure bus routes on Sundays but cuts services in the week for people who need to go to work or to attend medical appointments.  For example Chailey residents face the prospect of being able to get a bus to the Bluebell Railway on Sundays but having to wait up to 2 hours for a bus to Lewes in the week.

These cuts are just some of many bus cuts proposed across the county to services supported by the council.

What can HOT readers do?

  • Phone East Sussex County Council on 0345 60 80 194 to find out exactly how you will be affected (or see below for Hastings bus services) and take part in the consultation that started in July.
  • Tell your county council member that you want them to oppose the cuts at every opportunity.
  • Build strength by campaigning across the County – come to the Lewes Stop the Cuts public meeting on 11 September – see the details below.

 What are Lewes Stop the Cuts doing?

  • They have contacted parish councils, voluntary organisations and trade unions throughout the county alerting them to what is going on.
  • They have created a number of leaflets and flyers publicising the campaign’
  • They are organising a public meeting on 11 September 7–8pm Westgate Chapel,
    92a High Street, Lewes  BN7 1XH  

Proposed cuts in bus services provided by Ian Lydon-James -



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Posted 07:56 Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014 In: Campaigns


  1. Kathryn Sargent

    I’ve lived here 30 years now, and when we moved here buses ran until
    around 11 pm to where I live, Boscobel Road, on weekday nights.
    Now I’m 63 the bus that takes me closest to my home in St Leonards, the 26, stops just before 8pm. It’s no wonder locals over 50 don’t feel able to attend entertainments or socialise in Hastings town centre.
    My husband volunteers for the Electric Palace Cinema in the High Street and reports that few older people who would be interested in seeing the films on offer venture there in the evenings – they have no means of getting home. There’s no longer a bus service from there that runs from the Old Town along the seafront to St Leonards after the very early evening. Stagecoach rule, and they seem to have decided that local people don’t need an eavening bus service.
    My sister lives in Torridge, North Devon, and area which has suffered
    badly from cuts to local services – yet residents there are able to travel from the cinema in Torriington up till as late as eleven at night, and also from Barnstaple. What’s going on?

    Comment by Kathryn Sargent — Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 @ 18:04

  2. Andrea Needham

    ESCC: trying to save £1.7m by withdrawing vital (and low carbon) transport services from the poorest people (ie those that don’t have cars, who are likely to be in the lowest socioeconomic groups) whilst spending £57m (so far – may end up far more) on the Link Road, thereby encouraging more driving, more carbon emissions, more destruction of the environment. No more needs to be said about the county council’s priorities.

    Comment by Andrea Needham — Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 @ 22:07

  3. A. Millington

    This is diabolical. How are people supposed to get anywhere when the service is either abolished or 2 hourly. You might get to your destination but you will not be able to get back home.
    This will result in more people needing help and many more cars on the road being driven by very elderly people who have no option!

    Comment by A. Millington — Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 @ 15:22

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