Residents of Beachlands and Pevensey Bay are expressing frustration and concern over ‘the inadequate and unreliable bus service’ that connects their community to Pevensey and Westham School and Eastbourne town. The Number 8 bus, the sole provider for this route, has recently been designated as the go-to replacement when other buses break down, exacerbating the problem and leaving families without a reliable means of transportation.

The Issue:

The Number 8 bus, vital for many families in the area, is currently the only service covering the route from Beachlands to Eastbourne town, and the only way for them to get from Beachlands and Pevensey Bay, to Pevensey and Westham School. Despite the existence of routes such as 1, 1a, and loop, which all cover very similar routes, the Number 8 bus is now under increased strain due to its secondary role as a substitute for other broken-down buses.

Families relying on this bus for daily school runs and other essential travel are facing numerous challenges. The service, previously running at one bus per hour, was already notorious for its lateness. However, recent changes have seen an alarming increase in cancellations, particularly during the week beginning February 5th, where 5 out of 10 school run time buses failed to operate.

Impact on Families:

The consequences of these cancellations are dire for local families, who are now forced to walk up to 50 minutes in adverse weather conditions just to reach and return from school. This situation is not only inconvenient but also has a significant impact on the well-being of children and parents alike.

The alleged dispute between the bus company and the council over funding for the Number 8 route is compounding the problem. Local families find themselves caught in the crossfire of bureaucratic arguments, with no immediate solution in sight.

Rising Costs and Unreliable Service:

Adding insult to injury, the bus fare increased on January 29th, leaving passengers paying more for a service that rarely runs on time, if it runs at all. This discrepancy between the council’s emphasis on public transport for environmental reasons and the deteriorating quality of service raises serious questions about the commitment to providing accessible and reliable public transportation options.

Call to Action:

Beachlands and Pevensey Bay residents are calling on the council and the bus company to prioritize the needs of the community over bureaucratic disputes. It is crucial for the authorities to find a swift resolution to the funding issue and ensure that the Number 8 bus service is adequately funded to provide reliable and consistent transportation for the residents who depend on it.

The residents of Beachlands deserve a dependable and affordable public transportation system that aligns with the environmental goals set by the council. It is time for authorities to address the urgent concerns of the community, resolve funding issues, and commit to improving the Number 8 bus service for the benefit of all residents.