Call for more bus services

Mayor Alan Roberts and Joy Cogger
Mayor Alan Roberts and Joy Cogger

ELDERLY and disabled residents in the Four Courts area of St Leonards are calling for more bus service provision in the evenings and weekends.

More than 500 people have signed a petition set up by Joy Cogger, of Churchill Court, Stonehouse Drive, and two of her friends.

They say many older people cannot go out and feel trapped because there are no buses in Stonehouse Drive on weekdays after 6pm and none at all on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Ms Cogger, 60, said: “A lot of elderly people live in the high-rise blocks and many get so depressed because they can’t get out in the evenings and on Sundays. I’m disabled and have a heart condition and many residents here are disabled, who find it difficult to walk up to Battle Road to get the bus.”

She added a lot of people living in the Four Courts area were unable to go out for several days during the extended Bank Holiday period last June during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Ms Cogger, who set up the petition last July, delivered it to the Mayor Alan Roberts last week to pass on to Stagecoach Buses. She also said she had written to the bus firm highlighting residents’ concerns. She added: “Buses come along Blackman Avenue so why can’t they be diverted to Stonehouse Drive as well?”

Jeremy Cooper, commercial director for Stagecoach in East Kent and East Sussex, said: “We are always pleased to hear that people would like to see further improvements to our service, and will consider the points put forward carefully. Stonehouse Drive already benefits from a 30-minute frequency ‘Arrows’ bus. Last year we provided brand new, larger buses on that route. We’ve also worked with East Sussex County Council to provide some direct buses to and from the Conquest Hospital, so we certainly haven’t forgotten about Stonehouse Drive.”