Bus users face ‘anxious’ time

RYE Community Transport has come to the rescue following big changes to the East Sussex County Council supported Rider bus services in and around Rye.

The changes came into effect on July 31 with the new Sunday services on the 312 and between Rye Station and Rye Harbour. Monday was launch day for the changes on the other routes.

Rye Community Transport Operations Manager Pat Hughes, said: “The disappearance of the 325 Rye Town Service - its route is absorbed into the 312 for the Rye Harbour end and the 326 for the Tilling Green end, and the loss of Coastal Coaches has caused great anxiety for many bus users.

“Fortunately the 326 route continues to be operated by Rye and District Community Transport with some journeys into Tilling Green, three each day Monday to Friday and all six on Saturdays, being provided by Stagecoach.

“We have been running the 326 route for almost 10 years now and we are very experienced in helping our passengers, for instance we have always carried shopping trolleys, push chairs and wheeled ‘walkers’.

“We were very aware of people’s concerns about all the changes and we hope that we can provide the support to make the transition go well. Certainly, the first couple of days have thrown up fewer problems than we had expected and people seem to have been determined to make the best of it.

“I think that everyone was quite relieved that the cuts to the bus services were not as severe as we had feared and that County’s Passenger Transport team had worked so hard to minimise their effects by putting add-on benefits to the revamped services to ‘make up’ for losses.

“So Tilling Green residents using the RDCT 326 services can get straight up to the High Street without a bus change apart from two runs where they can get up to the Rye Hospital/Medical Centre site instead. Passengers from Rye Harbour, whose service is now the 312, also benefit from direct access there.

“Over the weekend we had a team of volunteers out delivering the new 326 timetables to over 1,200 homes in Tilling Green, Cadborough Cliff and Udimore Road, Kings Avenue and New Road, North Salts and Military Road and parts of Playden.

“We have also reacted to the frequently asked questions and have produced several hundred small guides showing just the bus times from Tilling Green to Rye Station and back again and have been giving those out as widely as possible.

“Of course there have been difficulties for some and people have gone to catch buses which are not running or which are not going where they thought but we are very grateful for the cheerfulness and enthusiasm which we have come across and the way that people have helped each other.”