LOVE YOUR BUS CAMPAIGN LATEST NEWS
It’s the new year and the Love Your Bus Campaign Continues- In fact we have launched a new initiative- Fares Fair.
What happened in December
The full council voted not to make the bus cuts, but, because democracy has been minimised in East Sussex County Council, the cabinet, a small group of council members from one party (the Conservatives) has the final say. They voted to make the cuts.
As a sop to democracy, the cabinet systems has a series of scrutiny committees, who scrutinise decisions made by the council. A decision can be “called in” by members of the scrutiny committee if it has been taken in an unlawful or unreasonable way. Four members of the scrutiny committee have done this. What happens after that is that the cabinet asks officials to find ways of ruling the call in “out of order”. This is very easy to do, and in fact the officials have ruled the call in request out of order. Councillors on the committee are now looking at what else they can do.
The cabinet meeting agreed to cut services, but it did not agree a fare rise. Instead it gave officials power to make increases of UP TO 30%. This means that the fare issue is not decided.
The council only sets the fares on the services that it financially supports. Otherwise the bus operator sets the fares. Bus operator Compass bus, tempted by the possibility of raising fares, has said that it will run quite a few services, at reduced frequencies, without any financial support from the council. So now some fares will be set by Compass and some by East Sussex Council officials.
The COMPASS BUS COMPANY will now be responsible for setting fares on these routes:
121 Lewes to Chailey and Newick
123 Lewes to Newhaven
125 Lewes to Alfriston
127 Landport estate bus Lewes
128 Nevill estate bus Lewes
129 Nevill and Winterbourne bus Lewes
143 Lewes to Ringmer, Laughton, Hailsham and Eastbourne
The campaign is asking people who use these services or who know people who do to contact Compass bus to ask them to keep fares at present levels, saying how a fare increase would affect you.
Or write to them at Compass Travel, Faraday Close, Durrington, Worthing. BN13 3RB
Ask Compass to tell you what they decide to do.
EAST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL will now be responsible for setting fares on these routes:
125 Lewes to Barcombe
166 Lewes to Plumpton and Haywards Heath
824 Lewes to Ditchling and Burgess Hill.
The campaign is asking people who use these services or who know people who do to contact East Sussex Council bus to ask them to keep fares at present levels, saying how a fare increase would affect you. You can contact them via your county council member or
The fare rises
Here are some sample fares. The current fares are shown first, the effect of a 30% increase is shown in brackets
from Nevill or Landport into Lewes
single £1.70 (£2.21)
return £2.20 (£2.86) (Lewes day bus ticket is the same price)
weekly ticket £8 (£10.40)
From Newhaven or similar 8 mile journey
Return £4.80 (£6.24)
Weekly ticket £16 (£20.80)
(this is the maximum ticket price on subsidised services)
Lewes dial a ride (fares payable by everyone, including bus pass holders)
Return journey in Lewes town £3.50 (£4.55)
Return journey from outside Lewes town into Lewes £5 (£6.50)
Weekly tickets for young people who use the bus to go to school will also go up. The maximum fare will go up from £15 a week to £16, but the council does not appear to have decided how much fares that are below the maximum would be increased.
Bus Pass Holders beware.
Pensioners and others with bus passes should also be concerned. Already they face increases on dial a ride services and some political parties have been suggesting that they would like to take the bus pass away from pensioners. Candidates will be coming round to ask for your vote. You should ask them what they think about the fare rises and service cuts and whether they will cut the concessionary bus pass or make it dependent on people’s income.
What you can do now:
- Contact East Sussex Council or Compass bus (depending on who will be setting the fares on your services, asking them not to increase fares, and to let you know what they decide to do. You can find the contact details above.
- Candidates will be coming round to ask for your vote. You should ask them what they think about the fare rises and service cuts and whether they will cut the concessionary bus pass or make it dependent on people’s income.