Bus only choice for many

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People assume that most families, like them, have a car. But official statistics show this to be untrue, at least in the case of Rye.

One of our reporters tried a quiz prepared by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to test “how well do you know your area?” and was surprised at the result of the last question in particular. The question was: “For every 100 households how many do not have a car or van?”

Our reporter guessed 9 out of 100 households. The answer based on the 2011 census shows that more than one in four households in Rye – 28 per cent – have no access to a car or van (see the graph above, taken from the ONS website).

That is why the local bus, the 326, makes many journeys daily within the town – every 30-60 minutes, according to East Sussex County Council. But the council now wants to cut that service to just two days a week  (Tuesdays and Fridays), though market day is Thursday.

The council also wants to cut the town’s Dial-a-Ride service from five days a week to two, Wednesday and Saturday, though the service is often used for health appointments which usually do not happen on a Saturday. In other places outside Rye the county council has suggested cutting an hourly service to every two hours off peak – and not to just two days.

The council is consulting about this cost cutting proposal, which local MP Amber Rudd says she opposes, and is asking residents to complete a survey which is available in the public library. If you have no access to a car or van and rely on buses, you have to complete this survey before Sunday September 28 to make sure the council hears your views.

To take the ONS quiz yourself click here.

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