Lewes Bus services to be decimated

Decimation of bus services make sure your voice is heard

 

Screenshot 2014-07-22 13.36.10

Bus

BUS SERVICES UNDER ATTACK 

30% FARE RISE

SERVICES CUT- 

DON’T LET IT HAPPEN

Here is a  poster for you to display in your window
Leaflets to print and give to anyone you know
Live outside Lewes?  leaflet that you can download
Call us on 07722519340

Join the “Love your bus” campaign.

Contact us at: lewesstopthecuts@gmail.com

Post PO box 2660, Lewes, BN7 2W,

Telephone 07722 519340

On July 1st East Sussex Council’s cabinet is likely to rubber stamp a proposal which would start the decimation of  the subsidised bus services in Lewes and East Sussex.  The 28 and 29 run by Brighton buses will not be affected. But almost every other bus service running into Lewes will be cut.

 

Fares Hike

Fares on remaining services will face a huge hike, making them unaffordable for many.  Increases will approach 30% across the board!  This will lead to even less use of what buses remain.

For example, the current fare from Lewes to Newhaven and return is currently £4.80.  A 30% increase takes that to £6.24.   This is almost double the current train fare and makes the car, if you have one, a cheaper option.

You can see that the council are trying to reduce bus passengers so that they can make even further cuts.

 

Subsidy cut

In 2012/3 the councils supported bus services to the tune of just over £2.9 million a year.  It wants to reduce this support to under £700 thousand by April 2015.  (The council has recently spent about £56 million of its (our) money on the Bexhill Hastings link road on top of the money paid by the government)

 

Service cuts

The council will keep many bus services which are used for people to get to and from work and also most journeys that enable students to get to school. (But there may be fewer services than there are now even in the peaks)

All evening and Sunday services subsidised by the council will be withdrawn.

The council is not clear what will happen on Saturdays on routes which will still have a daily service Monday to Friday.  You should not assume that there will still be Saturday services. Where there are Saturday services the frequency will be the same as the off peak services shown below.  There will be no Saturday services to Barcombe, Plumpton or Haywards Heath.  There is already no Saturday service to Hailsham.

Off peak services in the day will be drastically cut.  Here how Lewes town’s bus services would fare outside of normal school and work rush hours

 

28 Lewes to Ringmer                                             No evening services on this section of the route.

121 Lewes-Newick                                                  reduced to every two hours

123 Lewes-Kingston- Newhaven                      reduced to every two hours

125 Lewes- Barcombe- Alfriston                      runs on Mondays and Thursdays only (daily peak service)

127 Landport Service                                            reduced to hourly

128 Nevill Service                                                    reduced to hourly (this frequency probably includes the 129 service)

129 Nevill and Winterbourne service              reduced to every two hours

143 Lewes- Ringmer and Hailsham                    runs Tuesday and Friday only (no service at all on other days)

166 Plumpton and Haywards Hth                       runs on Mondays and Thursdays only (daily peak service)

824 Ditchling and Burgess  Hill                            runs on Tuesday and Friday only (daily peak service)

A number of public services serving Ringmer college from the east will become school only services, which will mean an increase in travel costs of £5.50 per week per student.

 

There are similar cuts right across the county.

As the county admits, shoppers and those with medical appointments will be worst affected.  That’s bad news for shopkeepers. The council hopes more people will shop on line instead of using local shops.

But it is bad news for shift or part time workers too, and the council admits that some people may lose their jobs  (on top of the bus drivers who will also lose theirs)

Also affected will be pensioners, who face further isolation, and young people who want to visit their friends.

The council believes that some services, such as libraries, will be affected.  As you probably know, rural libraries are being cut, so more people need to travel.

Areas like Chailey, Newick, Laughton and Kingston will become no go areas where it is impossible to live without a car, or more than one car.  And, of course, the number of cars trying to drive and park in Lewes will rise.

The policies take no account of environmental concerns and take no account of the extra costs of more traffic, pollution or social isolation.

20% of households in Lewes district do not have access to a car.  Even in those households that have a car, household members may be stranded at home if one member must take the car, for example to get to work.

The council has the power to use revenues from car parking schemes to subsidise bus services, but has not promised to do so.

What COULD the council do?

  • It could commit itself to not wasting money on road schemes
  • It could actually publicise the bus services to ensure more people use them instead of keeping them secret.
  • It could generate more money from parking schemes and use this to pay for buses.
  • It could adopt the system used in London and being tried out in Newcastle, where companies have to tender to run the profitable and the unprofitable services as a package.  At the moment the commercial companies trouser the profit on the profitable routes and the taxpayer subsidises the others. Under the alternative system the profitable routes help subsidise the loss making ones.

When would this happen?

These cuts would happen in April 2015- just 8 months away

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Tell everyone who you know who might be affected anywhere in East Sussex.
  •  Display a poster in your window.  You can download one here
  •   Print off some leaflets to give to anyone you know  If you live in Lewes there is a leaflet that you can download here  If you live outside Lewes there is a leaflet that you can download here
  • Raise the issue at any organisation or community group you are part of.
  • Phone East Sussex County Council on 0345 60 80 194 to find out exactly how you will be affected.  Ask them how you can take part in the consultation that started on 7th July.
  • Tell your county council member that you want them to oppose the cuts at every opportunity.
  • Contact local papers and radio stations to tell them how you will be affected. The address of the Sussex Express is  Sussex Express,  Springfield House,  Springfield Road,   Horsham  RH12 2RG
  • Come to our public meeting  11th September 7-8pm Westgate Chapel, 92a High Street, Lewes, BN7 1XH
  • Sign up for our mailing list on the right hand side of this page to get information about what is going on.

 

WHAT ARE WE DOING?

We are just starting to plan the fight back.  Already we have organised the following activities:

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

Other activities are planned.  Sign up for our mailing list on the right hand side of this page to get more information.

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LATEST INFORMATION ON THE ESCC ‘CONSULTATION EXERCISE’

Email received from Madeline Harmer business transport officer for ESCC by LSTC on
“Paper copies of the survey are available in all libraries and will shortly be available on supported buses throughout East Sussex. Residents can request a paper copy of the survey by calling us on 0345 60 80 194, and in this month’s “Your County” there will be information regarding the consultation which will include this telephone number.

In addition all key stakeholders, including parish and district councils, charities, children centres, religious communities, and social groups have received a link to the online version of the survey, and a note informing them that they can request paper versions of the survey by calling us on 0345 60 80 194.”

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3 Responses to “Lewes Bus services to be decimated”

  1. bill February 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    Any service that schools have to buy into will be under threat. Schools Library service must be in the fring line. Prisons are legally required to maintain a library. Schools are not.

  2. Richard Partridge July 26, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    As chair of Lewes and District Seniors Forum, I am including a piece in a letter to our 400 members next week. My own observation is that the increasing number of Ringmer people who go by bus to Brighton for evenings at theatre/cinema/concerts will not get home – the last bus leaves Brighton at 19 30 instead of 23 00…! It takes a lot of homework to unravel this from the consultation document – many people assume the 28/29 service is totally commercial so would not expect ANY cuts in those services and therefore may assume they are unaffected by the proposals…not so. And this after the City Council have spent money on massive bus lane improvements and increased parking charges…..!

    • lewesstopthecuts July 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

      Thanks Richard. Keep spreading the word. We have lots of A5 flyers, if you would like some, let us know. Best wishes, Sarah

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