CONGRATULATIONS to Hasting Borough Council on putting on a really exciting and dynamic dance show by Hofesh Shechter Company. I really enjoyed it.
However trying to get home to West St Leonards by public transport was a big let-down to the evening.
A few of us walked to the nearest bus stop only to read that the service was Saturday mornings only. I had to do the usual – get a bus from Havelock Road, get off at Warrior Square and walk back to Grosvenor Gardens.
Routes 98 and 99 serve West St Leonards from Hastings, but they do not run after 6.30pm on any day of the week. The only way to West St Leonards after this time is to get off at Warrior Square and walk.
Depending where you live, this can be a long walk particularly in the wind or rain.
I really do wonder whether Stagecoach has ever really thought about the routes in Hastings and St Leonards. Many journeys require two or sometimes three bus changes. Anyone who lives west of Warrior Square has to depend on the 99 and 98 buses which are unreliable due to the circuitous route and the delays on the Bexhill Road, not to mention the absence of any service after 6.30pm.
There are some people who would never dream of taking a bus, because they believe that there is something inferior about travelling by public transport.
However, if you go to any modern city like Brighton, Bristol or London, all kinds of people use buses, regardless of status, simply because it is a convenient way of getting about and they are frequent, modern and clean.
There are lots of people in this town who don’t have cars for economic, ethical or health reasons, but those who do own cars are probably unwilling to leave them at home because of the poor bus service.
Why can’t Stagecoach put on a shuttle bus and link up the Old Town and St Leonards?
This would cut out the difficulties of having to negotiate the Bexhill Road and provide a fast and reliable service. I’m sure it would be well used.
If anyone is interested in starting a Hastings and St Leonards Bus Users Forum to try and improve our bus services, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.