Volunteers offer New Year’s Day bus service

Hailsham Town Council, along with one other local parish council, is part-subsidising the cost of running a special service on New Year’s Day on Cuckmere Buses.

Working with Hailsham Town Council and other parishes in the Wealden district, local bus operator Cuckmere Buses has stepped in again to fill a big gap in the seasonal timetables over the festive break.

Cuckmere Buses, which is run entirely by volunteers was concerned that Hailsham would be left without any public transport on 1st January 2019, as the commercial bus companies normally serving the town do not operate on this day, leaving Hailsham residents without a transport link to Polegate train station or Eastbourne town centre.

This is the eighth consecutive year that Cuckmere Buses has run the route 50 from Hailsham to Eastbourne via Polegate and Willingdon. More than a hundred people used the service last New Year’s Day.

Barry Marlowe, lead member of the Wealden Bus Alliance said; “We are delighted that Hailsham Town Council is supporting Cuckmere Buses New Year’s Day service again, which will enable people to visit friends and loved ones in neighbouring towns, allow bargain hunters to reach Eastbourne town centre easily to do a spot of shopping, or just to simply to go for a festive pint in Hailsham town centre.”

“This service is vital for those who will use it and I’m delighted to hear about the positive feedback received from passengers who used the service in previous years, expressing their delight and thanks to the volunteer drivers.”

Town Clerk John Harrison said: “It’s a privilege for Hailsham Town Council to support this essential service financially and the Town Council will continue to work with Wealden Bus Alliance, Cuckmere Buses and other local bus operators to help provide public transport services aimed at benefiting everyone locally.”

Cuckmere Buses Managing Director, Philip Ayers, said: “Cuckmere Buses never has a problem covering these vital services on New Year’s Day and we are pleased to do so.  We are all volunteers and have a policy of not competing with commercial bus operators, but equally, we have run services for the last 42 years in areas where those operators cannot cover their costs.”

“Thus, we are pleased to run between Hailsham, Polegate, Eastbourne and Langney on 1st January 2019 and hope the hourly services will be appreciated by local people.”

Full details of the New Year’s Day number 50 service are available now on the Cuckmere Buses website (cuckmerebuses.org.uk) and via the Wealden Bus Alliance’s website.

Demand for the Cuckmere Buses service means that additional volunteer drivers are needed. If you are over 25 years of age, able to offer your services and would like more information on volunteer training opportunities, contact Philip Ayers on 01323 870920 or John on 07802 305155.

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