Under new plans by approved by East Sussex County Council, which could come in as early as next April, Pensioners and other bus pass holders in many suburban and rural areas would have to pay to use buses.
This is because buses in many of these areas will be replaced by Dial-a-ride services, which bus companies can charge everyone for. An indication of the fares is given on the web site of current Dial-a-ride provider Community Transport Lewes Area which charges £4.50 return for short hops and £6 return for longer journeys.
The bus services in our district which would be replaced by Dial-a-ride are
- 119 and 120 Seaford and Bishopstone Town service
- 126 Seaford to Alfriston
- 122 Lewes-Barcombe
- 125 Lewes-Alfriston- Eastbourne
- 127 Town Centre to Malling (only a possibility)
- 128/9 Neville estate and Winterbourne estate services
- 131 Wallands Service
- 132 Lewes Sunday town service (only a possibility)
- 145 Newhaven, Denton and South Heighton town service
- 166 Lewes Plumpton Haywards Heath
- 167 Lewes Ditchling Burgess Hill
Other services would be improved and bus passes would still be valid on these, but in many cases the buses that are going are the only public transport running near people’s homes.
It is suggested that initially bus pass holders would be allowed two free journeys a week on these services, but the law does not require this and East Sussex Council is notorious for cutting services to the minimum required by law.
You can find more details here. The article focusses on Lewes Town but the principles are the same in other areas.
Article date 4/11/21.