Bus Service Funding

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Most bus services in East Sussex are run commercially by bus operators, meaning they are reliant on income from service users. See Bus Operating Companies for more information and contact details.

Bus Services funded by East Sussex County Council

Legislation allows the County Council to subsidise buses which cannot run at a profit but are seen to be socially necessary for the community. There is discretion as to what services, if any, are provided within the limited funding available.

In 2014 the County Council undertook a major assessment of travel needs. We used this understanding of need to match supply with need and developed our ‘Vision’ and priorities for the Public Transport Service in the future. Based on the findings and following extensive public consultation, East Sussex County Council’s agreed a needs based public transport commissioning strategy.

Decisions on which services to develop and support are made using the hierarchy of service provision outlined in the commissioning strategy:

Priority 1 – Enable children eligible for statutory free home to school transport to travel to the nearest suitable school or college

Priority 2 – Enable residents to get to work at key centres during peak times

Priority 3 – Enable residents to access essential services during the day on a minimum of two days per week

Priority 4 – Enable children who are not eligible for statutory free home to school transport to travel to the nearest available school or college

East Sussex County Council spends over £1 million each year funding services to meet the needs identified. They are provided under contract to us by various bus operators. The services we contract are listed below.

Service Route (whole service funded unless stated) Operator

5,5A

This section of route only:

Langney-Stone Cross-Westham-Pevensey-Pevensey Bay-Beachlands

Stagecoach

5

(Schooldays)

Afternoon journey only:

Cavendish School- Bridgemere

Stagecoach

7

Hastings-Ashford Way

Stagecoach

23

This section of route only:

Hastings-Elphinstone Rd-Pilot Rd-Conquest Hospital

Stagecoach

23B

The morning peak journey to Conquest Hospital only: Hastings-St Leonards-Harley Shute-Hollington-Conquest Hospital

Stagecoach

27

Hastings-Linton Road

Stagecoach

28

The public holiday service only (Sunday service funded by Hastings Parking Surplus): Hastings-West Hill-Ore-Conquest Hospital

Stagecoach

40

(Tue & Friday)

Berwick-Seaford

Cuckmere Buses

42

(Wednesday)

Berwick-Hailsham

Cuckmere Buses

51

Funded by development contributions:

Dittons Wood service

Stagecoach

54

Off-peak service only:

Uckfield town service

Stagecoach

54A

Funded by development contributions:

Eastbourne-D.G.Hospital -Polegate-Dittons Wood Corner-Stone Cross

Stagecoach

73,74,

(Schooldays)

ARK Alexandra Academy school services

Stagecoach

94

Little Common-Bexhill

Stagecoach

95

Bexhill-Ninfield-Catsfield-Battle-Conquest Hospital

Stagecoach

96

Little Common-Cooden Beach-Bexhill-Ridgewood Gardens

Stagecoach

97

Bexhill-Glenleigh Park–Hooe

Stagecoach

101

The public holiday service only (Sunday service funded by Hastings Parking Surplus): Conquest Hospital-Hastings-Fairlight-Rye

Stagecoach

119

Seaford local service (including certain journeys to/from Alfriston)

Compass Travel

120

Saturday afternoon journeys only:

Seaford local service

Compass Travel

121

The last journey in each direction only: Lewes-Offham-Cooksbridge-Chailey-Newick

Compass Travel

122

Weekday service only:

Lewes-Offham-Cooksbridge-Barcombe

Compass Travel

123

Schooldays only journeys:

East Saltdean-Peacehaven-Newhaven-Rodmell-Kingston-Lewes

Compass Travel

125

Lewes-Glynde-Firle-Alfriston-Polegate-D.G.Hosp-Eastbourne

Compass Travel

126

The journeys operated by Compass Travel only:

Seaford-Alfriston-Polegate-Wannock-Willington-D.G.Hosp-Eastbourne

Compass Travel

129

Lewes town service

Compass Travel

143

Lewes-Ringmer-Laughton-Deanland Wood-Hailsham

Compass Travel

145

Newhaven local service

Compass Travel

166

Lewes-Plumpton-Wivelsfield Green-Princess Royal Hospital- Haywards Heath

Compass Travel

167,168

Village Rider services linking Lewes-Plumpton-Ditchling-Burgess Hill-Wivelsfield Green

Compass Travel

224

(Wed & Fri)

Wadhurst-Town Row-Rotherfield-Crowborough

North Wealden Community Transport

225

(Tue & Thu)

Crowborough-Rotherfield-Heathfield-Rushlake Green-Brightling-Netherfield-Battle

North Wealden Community Transport

226

(Tue,Thu,Sat)

Crowborough-Rotherfield-Mayfield local service

North Wealden Community Transport

227

(Schooldays)

Five Ashes-Argos Hill-Rotherfield- Crowborough

Seaford & District

228,229

Tunbridge Wells–Eridge Green- Crowborough–Jarvis Brook

Compass Travel

231

Uckfield-Framfield-Blackboys-Heathfield-Etchingham

Compass Travel

246

(Thursdays)

Uckfield-Chelwood Gate- Sheffield Park-Fletching-Uckfield

Community Transport for the Lewes Area

248,249

(Mon,Wed,Fri)

Uckfield-Buxted-Hadlow Down/High Hurstwood-Crowborough

Community Transport for the Lewes Area

251,252

The afternoon schooldays only journeys, and the last journeys:

Heathfield-Rotherfield-Mayfield-Tunbridge Wells

Stagecoach

254

The public holiday service only:

Hawkhurst-Flimwell-Wadhurst-Ticehurst-Tunbridge Wells

Stagecoach

256

Tunbridge Wells-Bells Yew Green-Lamberhurst-Wadhurst

Autocar

261

Uckfield-Maresfield-Nutley- Coleman’s Hatch-Forest Row-Ashurstwood-East Grinstead

Compass Travel

304,305

Early morning and evening journeys, plus the public service:

Hastings-Battle-Whatlington-Robertsbridge-Hurst Green-Hawkhurst

Stagecoach

312

Rye-Playden-Iden-Wittersham-Tenterden

Stagecoach

313

Rye Harbour-Rye-Playden-Peasmarsh-Beckley-Northiam

Stagecoach

318

(Schooldays)

Heathfield–Uckfield-East Hoathly-Chiddingly-Whitesmith-Laughton-King’s Academy

Seaford & District

320

(Schooldays)

Ninfield-Claverham College

Stagecoach

342

Hastings-Westfield-Broad Oak-Udimore-Rye- Playden-Peasmarsh-Beckley-Northiam

Stagecoach and Rambler Coaches

347

Pett-Guestling-Hastings

Stagecoach

349

Last journey on Mondays to Saturdays and the public holiday service:

Hastings-Sedlescombe-Bodiam-Sandhurst-Hawkhurst

Stagecoach

354

Ticehurst-Wadhurst rail link

Autocar

355

(Schooldays)

Claverham Community College school journeys

Rambler Coaches

356

(Schooldays)

Little Common-Hooe-Claverham College

Rambler Coaches

359

(Schooldays)

Hastings-St Richards Catholic College

Stagecoach

360

(College Days)

Etchingham-Robertsbridge-Sedlescombe-Bexhill College

Rambler Coaches

361

(College Days)

Peasmarsh- Northiam -Westfield- Bexhill College

Rambler Coaches

381 (Schooldays)

Westfield-Broad Oak-Northiam-Staplecross-Robertsbridge

Rambler Coaches

382

(Schooldays)

Rye-Udimore-Broad Oak-Westfield-Robertsbridge Community College

Rambler Coaches

383

(Schooldays)

Peasmarsh-Sedlescombe-Robertsbridge Community College

Rambler Coaches

468 (Schooldays)

Ditchling-Westmeston-Plumpton-Chailey School

Seaford & District

492,493 (Schooldays)

Compass Travel journeys only:

Seahaven Academy services

Compass Travel

494

(Schooldays)

Seahaven Academy service

Brighton & Hove

B67/B71/B72

(Mon & Tue)

Battle Area Services

Battle Area Community Transport

B73

(Tuesday)

Battle-Robertsbridge-Mountfield-Battle

Battle Area Community Transport

B74

(Friday)

Mountfield-Netherfield- Sedlescombe- Robertsbridge-Burwash- Battle

Battle Area Community Transport

B75

(Wednesday)

Mountfield -Netherfield- Westfield-Sedlescombe- Battle

Battle Area Community Transport

B79

(Tuesday)

Battle-Ashburnham-Battle

Battle Area Community Transport

Funding from Government

Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) is a set amount paid annually to local transport authorities. It can only be only be used to fund bus services. East Sussex County Council receives £425,909 annually. This, together with East Sussex Council’s own funding (see above), is used to fund the contracted bus services listed.

A Better Deal for Bus Users is a single funding allocation of £265,381 to East Sussex County Council to improve bus services. Government is allowing local transport authorities to use some, or all, of their funding to instead retain or restore services affected by Covid-19. The County Council had planned to improve services in the following ways, but due to significant reductions in bus use and fares income, this funding may be needed to maintain existing services.

Service 2 – reinstate two return journeys between Northiam and Hastings, to provide an hourly Monday to Saturday service for the main daytime period.

Service 3 – introduction of a new Monday to Saturday evening service between Eastbourne town centre, Congress theatre complex and Meads.

Service 20/22C – reinstate later Sunday and Bank Holiday evening journeys between Hastings and Mayfield Farm.

Service 23 – introduce weekday morning and afternoon peak journeys between Hastings town centre, St Helen’s, The Ridge and Conquest Hospital.

Service 26/26A – introduce additional evening journeys between Hastings town centre, Park View, Conquest Hospital, Silverhill and Warrior Square.

Service 28 – introduce later Monday to Saturday journeys between Hastings town centre, Priory Road, Malvern Way, The Ridge and Conquest Hospital.

Service 54 – introduce a new Sunday and Bank Holiday service 54 between Uckfield, East Hoathly, Lower Dicker, Hailsham, Polegate, District General Hospital and Eastbourne.

Service 98 – introduce a new evening and Sunday journeys between Eastbourne, District General Hospital, Polegate, Hailsham, Magham Down, Herstmonceux, Windmill Hill, Ninfield, Sidley, Bexhill, Pebsham and Hastings.

Service 131 – introduce an improved and extended Lewes town route 131. Increase from 3 days to 6 days a week and extend to provide the Spences Lane area with an hourly service.

Service 254/304 – reinstate a Sunday service between Hastings, Battle, Robertsbridge, Hurst Green, Hawkhurst, Flimwell, Ticehurst, Wadhurst, Frant and Tunbridge Wells.

COVID-19 Bus Service Support Grant (CBSSG) was provided to Local Transport Authorities for 12 weeks from 17 March 2020. East Sussex County Council received £96,072 to help support tendered bus services. This was used to cover some of the shortfall in bus operators’ fares income during this period.

The Local Transport Authority COVID-19 Bus Service Support Grant Restart Scheme will be providing follow-on funding for the period 9 June to 3 August.