‘Don’t make these bus cuts’

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Thank you for your email regarding the proposed cuts in subsidies to bus services in my constituency.  You have advised me that you and your wife sometimes use public transport as well as a private car, and you have asked for my opinion.  I strongly oppose any cuts to the bus services.

East Sussex County Council (ESCC) recently commenced a 12 week public consultation.  I recognise that savings needs to be made across East Sussex, and that ESCC are being forced to deal with some difficult decisions between now and 2020 to find any areas possible where the savings required can be made. Their proposals have been designed to make cuts on services that are not economically beneficial, to be able to give the best value for money to the taxpayer.  This means they are focusing on the services which are seldom used by residents.

Despite this, it is important to ensure that the vulnerable, elderly and those in rural village areas are not completely cut off.  It is essential to me that the residents of Hastings and Rye have a reasonable level of access to local amenities, train stations, schools, hospitals, the town, the seafront and be able to use them for visits to family and friends that perhaps rely upon them for support, such as someone looking after an elderly relative.

Thus, the proposals to reduce the current ‘on-demand’ Dial-a-Ride services are not welcome.  Similarly I do not support the reduction in the 326 service (the only local service in Rye) from six days a week down to just two, with no service at all at the weekend.

ESCC should be seen to be co-operating with the bus companies and proactively getting them to seek what other alternatives can be found so that those services which are being affected are not so drastically cut. If you use any of the affected services, details of which follow at the end of my letter, I would urge you to express your views to ESCC.

As part of this consultation, I have written in the strongest terms to East Sussex County Council urging them not to make these cuts. A reliable bus service is essential to me, and I believe that these cuts should not go ahead. Thank you again for contacting me on this serious issue

Yours sincerely,
Amber Rudd
MP for Hastings and Rye

Permission to publish this letter, sent to a private constituent, was given by the MP’s office