Bus Services - 231 and 31
Services from 20th February 2017
Seaford & District have now been contracted to provide a revised service 231 on Mondays to Fridays. However, the service 231 four return journeys on Saturdays will no longer run. Compass Travel will also continue as the operator of service 31. The changes are summarised below.
Service 231 between Hurst Green, Etchingham, Burwash, Heathfield, Blackboys, Framfield and Uckfield:
Service 31 between Uckfield, Maresfield, Newick, North Chailey, Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath and Lindfield will continue almost unchanged:
To provide the 231 service on Saturdays this would have cost a further £15,500 per annum. West Sussex County Council are also funding part of service 31. A fares increase in the region of 10p per single journey will be implemented to keep the additional subsidy costs to this level.
Local communities are asked to support the bus service by using it as much as possible. The level of patronage will be monitored over the next 12 months, particularly given the low level of daytime use over the section of route between Heathfield, Burwash and Etchingham Station. If use of the service does not improve, further changes may be necessary to ensure value for money.
Update – 20 December 2016 - Information about the 231 bus Service from East Sussex County Council
The 231 bus service runs between Hurst Green, Etchingham, Burwash, Heathfield, Blackboys, Framfield and Uckfield and the 31 bus service runs between Uckfield, Maresfield, Piltdown, Newick, North Chailey, Scaynes Hill, Northlands Wood and Haywards Heath.
Seaford & District are currently providing the 231 service as a sub-contractor to Compass Travel whilst Compass Travel have continued to operate the 31 themselves.
Compass Travel have informed East Sussex County Council of their decision to cease operation of both services. The reason is that the amount of fares income and, in the case of the 231, funding for the service, is not sufficient to cover the cost of operation.
ESCC have had discussions with Seaford and District about them taking over the 231 service in their own right, with the same level of funding support as provided to Compass Travel and previously theSussexBus.com. However, Seaford and District have now also stated that the combined income from passengers and the County Council is too low. Clearly it is disappointing that the level of use being made of the 231 remains low despite the efforts made to improve the frequency and provide new journey opportunities.
Please be assured that we working hard to find a solution to ensure that as comprehensive a service as possible continues within the level of funding that can be provided by the County Council. In the case of the 31, we are liaising closely with colleagues at West Sussex County Council. Whilst the future service may not be as comprehensive as the current provision, it will provide for most current users including school children, shoppers and those with medical appointments.
There will be a further update once ESCC have news about any changes, which are likely to take place from 5th February. In the meantime, there will be some changes to the 31 from 9 January and details will be included in a forthcoming bulletin of service changes.