Wealden District Council

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One bus an hour for Herstmonceux

Media Release : 26 October 2018

One bus an hour and no service on Sunday. That is the reality facing people without a car who live in the Herstmonceux area.

Wealden bus alliance

Now, with the support of the Wealden Bus Alliance, local residents have formed the Herstmonceux Transport Access Group, or H-TAG for short. It will look at ways of tacking the transport problems of Herstmonceux.

“Herstmonceux has a famous castle and science museum,” said Cllr Barry Marlowe, chairman of the Wealden Bus Alliance. “But it is badly served when it comes to public transport. For many people, young or old, if you have no car, it means no way. Unless you want to spend money on taxis.

“The isolation of the residents, especially the elderly, and timings of the 98 bus service mean that residents have to use cars for most things. This includes to get to work, hospital visits, go shopping and get to local railway stations. Some older people may be driving when perhaps they should not.  Residents, particularly the younger ones, are unable to use public transport to get to places of employment or study.

“The solution could be a regular shuttle service between Herstmonceux and Hailsham.  There it would be possible to link up to regular bus connections serving Eastbourne, Uckfield, Polegate, Heathfield and Tunbridge Wells.  But first we would like to hear the views of local people.

“We hope as many people as possible living in the area take part in the survey and give the views of their family’s own experiences. Thanks to local volunteers we have been able to distribute 2,500 survey forms to local households.”

The Herstmonceux Transport Access Group’s survey can be completed online from the Wealden Bus Alliance’s website, www.wealdenbus.org.uk. Or downloaded from the website and handed in at the Herstmonceux Information Centre at The Old Forge, Gardner Street, Herstmonceux. The closing date for the survey is 12 November. The results will be published on the Wealden Bus Alliance website. 

The situation at Herstmonceux reflects a national problem, where some public transport exists but it is far from convenient. The current 98 bus service operates from the village and goes to either Hastings or Eastbourne. The first bus of the day leaves at 7 a.m. for Eastbourne. The last bus arrives back in the village at 7 p.m. on route to Hastings. It is an hourly service, is subject to cancellations and it does not operate on a Sunday. 

A regular shuttle bus service into Hailsham could supplement the 98 bus service. It could give passengers the opportunity to catch other services for their onward journey – and get them back to Herstmonceux at more convenient times.

H-TAG would welcome you help and support. For further information, please contact Malcolm Bradshaw on 07710 381138.