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Compass Travel are making a number of changes to bus services from 7 January 2019.

Compass Travel is unable to continue to provide all of their current provision of services due to financial pressures. This has been caused by higher fuel and insurance costs, along with reduced levels of income because of declining passenger numbers. Several services have few or no changes, with the main alterations affecting the worst performing journeys.

The County Council’s own financial pressures mean that we are not able to provide additional funding for bus services. Compass Travel have worked closely with officers to maintain, at the very least, limited journey opportunities for service users in line with the County Council’s needs based Public Transport Commissioning Strategy.

Compass Travel will be releasing details of the changes to their staff and service users tomorrow (Friday), though it appears that some have already managed to obtain some information.

The main changes to Compass Travel’s routes are summarised below.

31 Cuckfield-Haywards Heath-North Chailey-Newick-Maresfield-Uckfield

The additional schooldays only route 431 journeys provided for Uckfield College pupils are being withdrawn. All pupils can be accommodated on the main 31 route, though some may need to stand between Maresfield and Uckfield.

119/120 Seaford town services

No change.

121 Lewes-Offham-Cooksbridge-Chailey-Newick, with one return journey from Uckfield on schooldays

No change

122 Lewes-Offham-Cooksbridge-Barcombe

Minor change to one morning return journey.

123 Lewes-Kingston-Rodmell-Piddinghoe-Newhaven

The additional schooldays afternoon only bus between Priory School and Kingston will no longer be provided. There is sufficient space for pupils on the similarly timed main service 123, though some may need to stand. There are also timing changes to other journeys.

125 Lewes-Glynde-Firle-Alfriston-Wilmington-District General Hospital-Eastbourne

Minor timing changes.

126 Seaford-Alfriston

No change.

127/128/129 Lewes town services

Minor changes.

143 Lewes-Ringmer-Laughton-Hailsham-Wannock-Eastbourne

The section of route between Hailsham and Eastbourne is withdrawn. Passengers from the Wannock Glen Close will no longer have a service on weekdays (Cuckmere Buses routes 125 and 126 serve this stop on Saturdays and Sundays). Stagecoach routes 51 and 56 serve bus stops in Farmlands Way, about 500 metres from the Glen Close bus stop. A revised timetable will operate between Lewes and Hailsham, including an additional return journey. Stagecoach provide frequent local services between Hailsham and Eastbourne.

145 Newhaven town service

The last journey on Mondays to Fridays will no longer be provided due to very low use.

166 Lewes-Offham-Plumpton-Wivelsfield Green-Princess Royal Hospital-Haywards Heath

The journeys at 07:11 from Princess Royal Hospital to Lewes, 15:55 from Lewes to Haywards Heath, and 16:48 from Haywards Heath to Lewes, are all withdrawn due to low numbers of passengers. Route 168 (see below) is amended so as to provide service users in the Wivelsfield Green and Plumpton Lane areas with a replacement facility to connect with trains at Plumpton Station for Lewes. Most journeys will no longer serve Plumpton College. Some timing changes apply to other journeys and the last departures in each direction run earlier.

167 Lewes-East Chiltington-Plumpton-Ditchling-Hassocks-Burgess Hill

The journeys at 07:35 from Lewes to Burgess Hill, and 16:30 from Burgess Hill to Lewes, are withdrawn. See service 168 (below) for part replacement services.

168 Village Rider circular service linking Burgess Hill-Ditchling-Plumpton-Wivelsfield Green

A new Mondays to Fridays return service is provided, partly replacing certain 166 and 167 journeys (see above). The morning journey departs from Wivelsfield Green Coppards Close at 07:30, serving Plumpton Lane, Plumpton Green, Plumpton Half Moon, Westmeston, Ditchling, Keymer, Hassocks and Burgess Hill. This journey provides a connection to the 07:44 train from Plumpton to Lewes. The 15:50 journey is revised to depart from Burgess Hill Church Road at 16:00, running via Burgess Hill Tesco, Hassocks Stone Pound, Ditchling, Spatham Lane, Westmeston and then as the morning route in reverse to Wivelsfield Green. This journey is timed to depart from Plumpton Station at 16:36, so as to connect with the 16:29 train arrival from Lewes.

227 Five Ashes-Rotherfield-Beacon Academy Crowborough school service

Compass Travel will no longer be able to provide this service, which is mainly used by pupils entitled to free home to school transport. The County Council will secure an alternative service provider to maintain the current service timetable.

228/229 Crowborough-Jarvis Brook-Alderbrook-Eridge-Tunbridge Wells

Compass Travel took over the service from Seaford & District earlier this year, who had similar problems in trying to sustain the route, as did Arriva in 2016. Compass Travel’s new timetable will be less frequent due to the need to make cost savings. It will however continue to serve the current route around Crowborough and Jarvis Brook, as well as to and from Tunbridge Wells. The journeys used mainly by Kent school children attending Tunbridge Wells schools will also be provided. The current 06:55 journey will no longer operate due to extremely low use (no passengers were carried when last surveyed).

231 Uckfield-Framfield-Blackboys-Heathfield-Broad Oak-Burwash-Etchingham

The journeys from Uckfield at 17:15 and 17:50 are withdrawn and replaced with a new journey at 17:35 to Etchingham Station. The 17:00 and 18:03 journeys from Etchingham Station are retimed to depart at 16:45 and 18:20 instead. The 18:20 journey will run only as far as Heathfield, meaning that the last bus from Heathfield Fire Station to Uckfield will be 17:10.

261 Uckfield-Maresfield-Nutley-Wych Cross-Coleman’s Hatch-Forest Row-Ashurstwood-East Grinstead

Significantly revised timetable including the removal of the poorly used last journeys from Uckfield to East Grinstead at 18:05, and East Grinstead to Uckfield at 18:43. However the new timetable will now also provide journeys for a number of Uckfield College students who have been using a closed door coach service from the Nutley area. Journeys to depart Uckfield Bus Station to East Grinstead at 06:04 (not via Coleman’s Hatch), 07:22 (not via Ashurstwood), 09:30, 11:30, 13:50 and 15:50 (not via Coleman’s Hatch). A journey is also provided at 17:55 from Uckfield, running only as far as Nutley Church. Journeys to depart from East Grinstead Station to Uckfield at 06:40 (not via Coleman’s Hatch), 08:10 (not via Coleman’s Hatch), 10:22, 12:22, 14:58 and 17:05.

431 Newick-Maresfield-Uckfield

These schooldays only return journeys provided for Uckfield College pupils are being withdrawn. All pupils can be accommodated on the main 31 route, though some may need to stand between Maresfield and Uckfield.

492/493 Newhaven-Seahaven Academy services

The afternoon 492 and 493 journeys will be combined. All pupils can be accommodated on one bus, though some may need to stand.

The new bus timetables from 7 January will shortly be available on the Compass Travel website and on their buses.

Neil Maguire

Senior Technical Officer

Transport Hub

Direct: 01273 482147 | Team: 01273 335080

Team email: