What a ride bus journey was

Hastings Observer letters
Hastings Observer letters

From: Michael Plumbe, The Bourne, Hastings

I went on a Scenic Tour of (mainly) St Leonards on a route I’d not been on before, the 23 bus from the station to the Conquest Hospital.

What a ride. In and out of residential areas, up hill and down dale, a glimpse of the sea and a station, a sprint up a ‘country’ road to a superstore and back down again, badly-parked and oncoming cars missed by inches, tight turns, bumps and jolts (how the suspension of these buses stays intact I don’t know), sudden views of bits I recognised then back into unknown territory. Twice I saw a sign: ‘Conquest Hospital’ but the bus said: ‘Ha, ha!’ and veered off in a different direction.

Sadly there were never more than a handful of passengers on the bus.

The route was presumably designed (by a twisted genius) many years ago. I guess that nearly all those who live on the route or nearby now have cars so the purpose of the bus is greatly reduced. Also, Hastings taxis are plentiful and reasonable in price, for those without cars.

Often I find I can get to an event by bus but cannot get home afterwards. Selfishly, I would like a much improved late-evening service on popular routes. Also, it is good news that some Sunday services are coming back.

Are devious low-usage routes such as the 23 really still needed?

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