‘People power’ wins victory in Hastings bus campaign

Cllr Batsford with passengers
Cllr Batsford with passengers
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A councillor who campaigned for better bus services in town is celebrating a victory.

In June, Cllr Andy Batsford travelled with passengers all day on the number 7 bus to highlight concerns over cuts to the service, with more than 250 people signing his petition.

He said: “The first bus didn’t leave until 10.30am, meaning many residents, particularly the elderly couldn’t get to hospital and doctor’s appointments. There was one incident where a man spent five hours going on a round trip to visit the dentist for only 10 minutes.”

The number 7 used to run an hourly service but at the end of April its frequency was reduced, meaning it now only runs every two hours. It is operated by Stagecoach under contract to East Sussex County Council, which specifies the route and timetable of supported services.

Cllr Batsford added: “Users said their top concern was the bus needed to run earlier in the day. Following the petition being handed to Stagecoach, which had the backing of Cllr John Hodges, the bus company and county council have come up with a new timetable, meaning the number 7 will start its journey at 9.15am from November 2.

“This is due to people power and I would like to say a massive thank you to all of the residents and people I met on the bus.”

The number 7 takes in Ashford Way and Park Crescent. It then changes into the 29 serving Manor Road, the 27 in Priory Road and finally out to Pett as the 347.

Stagecoach announced changes to buses this week to take advantage of the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road.

All route 21 buses to and from Stonehouse Drive will be extended to serve Bexhill via the new link road but will run as far as Tesco until the road is opened from November 2. Due to the extension of route 21, after 9am all route 23 buses will run the same route along Blackman Avenue instead of Stonehouse Drive.

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