Axe falls hard on local bus services

A final decision was made by East Sussex County Council this week to cut and reduce a number of bus services.

Bus fares are also set to rise by as much as 30 percent.

The evening and Sunday service for the 344/312 , which links Hastings with Rye and Northiam has been scrapped.

The 347 – Hastings – Pett has had its service reduced to two-hourly and there are reduced journeys on the 342 Hastings – Rye service.

The cuts went ahead despite widespread protests and a petition.

The county council tried to put a positive spin on the news by saying the ‘revised’ bus network will safeguard 90 services and save the taxpayer a total of £1.88million.

They say the changes, which come into effect from April, will leave 91 per cent of passengers unaffected while 96 per cent will still have access to a six-day-a-week service. Only seven off-peak services will be reduced to two days a week, and two to three days a week.

A total of 23 previously subsidised services will run as commercial routes, including nearly all current supported evening services in the county.

Daily fares could increase by up to 30 per cent and the cost of a weekly ticket on a supported bus could increase by up to £3.

“I want to assure residents in East Sussex that we have listened to the feedback from the consultation and the views of the full council,” said Cllr Carl Maynard, lead member for transport and environment.

“We have the unenviable task of finding millions of pounds worth of savings and have to review every service .”