September 2020

Remember, driving in a private car is more dangerous than using public transport.  The risk of covid is far outweighed by the risk of an accident.

UCKFIELD ROCKS!

The latest Travel Log Walk

A Newick to Uckfield walk through some country you may not be familiar with, a quite wonderful nature reserve, an old canal and a nice pub midway.  10km/6miles on undulating ground.

NO ENCOURAGEMENT FOR WALKING AND CYCLING DURING THE PANDEMIC

East Sussex Council has rejected all its original proposals to boost walking and cycling during the Covid crisis in Lewes district, including the proposed widening of the pavements in Lewes.  It has also rejected all the proposals put forward by Lewes District Council.

ON THE BUSES

Still lots of space on the buses so far.  All the rural routes operated by Compass Bus have plenty of space, as have most Brighton Buses through Lewes. Brighton buses have a page on their site which enables you to check how busy your bus is.

Most routes are now back to normal service, but some buses are set aside for under 18s only to allow for school students.  You can find the Brighton bus times here and the Compass bus times here

There are limits on the numbers allowed on all buses except those set aside for school students only.  Since the driver is unlikely to be able to enforce the wearing of masks, students can cram together and catch covid to their hearts content.

Bus passes are no longer valid before 9.30 Monday to Friday

Here are the detailed changes to Compass Travel services in Lewes:

120 – Normal Saturday afternoon timetable is in operation. Cuckmere Buses is now running its morning and afternoon service on Tuesdays and Thursdays plus its Saturday morning service (see Cuckmere Buses section).

121 – Increased timetable with an amended Monday to Friday service: The first journey from Newick changed to depart from Newick The Bull at 0722, then run via South Chailey and Barcombe, arriving Lewes Bus Station at 0802. Additional buses for students only: 0800 Newick The Bull to Chailey School; 1517 Chailey School to Newick. The 0806 from Lewes High Street to Chailey School, and the 1520 from Chailey School to Lewes, will both be for students only. Normal Saturday service restored, including Sheffield Park Gardens and Bluebell Railway.

122 – The Monday to Friday 0742 journey from Barcombe Cross will be provided by route 121 and will not serve Barcombe Mills. Otherwise a normal service is restored.

123 – Increased timetable with an amended Monday to Friday service. The 0655 from Saltdean and 0740 from Newhaven will be for students only. A new journey, available to all users, will depart from Newhaven Lower Place at 0718, arriving Lewes Bus Station 0748. The schooldays only departure at 1517 from Lewes bus station is withdrawn. A journey for students only will run from Priory School to Rodmell, Piddinghoe and Newhaven, along with an extra bus for students only to Kingston. No change to the timetable on Saturdays.

125 – Increased timetable similar to the normal provision, with the daytime service between Lewes and Eastbourne restored. The 0755 from Alfriston will be for students only and only run on King’s Academy schooldays.  The 0800 school holidays only journey from Alfriston is withdrawn. The 1515 schooldays only journey from Lewes Bus Station is withdrawn. A journey for students only will run from King’s Academy to Alfriston at 1530.

126 – Normal service on Compass Travel journeys. See the Cuckmere Buses section for news of their route 126 journeys, and Compass Travel service 119 (above) for additional journeys between Alfriston and Seaford.

127 – Revised afternoon timetable after 1350, with departures from Lewes Bus Station at 1415 , 1450 (not to and from Malling), 1540, 1645, 1715, 1805 and 1840 (not to and from Malling). Normal service on Saturdays.

128/129 – On Mondays to Fridays, the 129 journey at 1502 from Lewes Bus Station is replaced by a 128 journey at 1430, running to Nevill only. Otherwise the normal Monday to Saturday service is restored.

143 – Normal service restored, apart from the 1405 journey from Hailsham will not serve Harrisons Lane and Springett Avenue in Ringmer, or Church Lane and Tesco in Lewes.

166 – Normal service, except the 0811 from Haywards Heath Perrymount Road to Warden Park School will be for students only. An additional bus numbered 33, for students only, will run at 0749 from Wivelsfield

ON THE TRAINS

There are an increased number of Southern trains from 7th September, but there do not appear to be any improvements on the services running through Lewes.  The service is almost normal, but the 23 and 53 minutes past the hour shuttles to Brighton are still not running, nor are the return shuttle journeys, which means that there are some gaps in the service.

Timetables are being amended quite frequently around the country and this means that it can be difficult to book advance fares for long journeys.  But advance tickets to London are currently still available a day or so before your journey in some cases.  As I write this on 29 August advance fares were available for 1st September.

BACK TO SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

Students eligible for free transport should now have been contacted by the county council.  If not contact them now.

Under 19s  in East Sussex can apply for a 3i-D card which gives you proof of ID so you can purchase the Freedom ticket.  The Freedom Ticket offers unlimited travel on nearly every bus* in East Sussex for seven days in a row, including weekends.  The Freedom ticket is £17.50 per week and is issued on the bus as a paper ticket only. (*Please contact the bus operator before travelling to ensure they issue and accept the Freedom Ticket. To find out more about other discounts and applying for the ID card visit the 3i-D card webpage).

But you may well find that other tickets are cheaper

Anyone using Brighton buses, (for example to get to Ringmer), will benefit for getting a bus ID card   Phone customer services on 01273 886200 to find out the cheapest fares.

People using Compass buses (for example to go to Chailey School) can buy a weekly season ticket.  Ring 01903 690025 to get details and fares.

Bhasvic students will often find that the train is more convenient than the bus, but the bus is cheaper.

City College students at the central Brighton campus (now Greater Brighton Met) will find the bus more convenient.

Varndean students will need a plusbus rail season ticket which is valid on the buses and the trains.

TRAIN FARES

These are due to go up by 1.6% in January.

For years the government has promised us carnet tickets- a system where you can buy a batch of, say, ten tickets for the same journey at a discounted price.  You would have thought that now was the time to bring this idea forward.  Not a bit of it. No whisper of the scheme is to be heard.

If you are thinking about travelling in to work a few days a week then an ordinary season ticket will be cheaper if you go in 3 days a week or more before about 9 am.

But otherwise you might want to look at the various cheaper alternatives on the Travel Log web site

The first off peak day ticket to Victoria is available on the 8.57 departure from Lewes (and advance single tickets may be available on this train too). You can come back in the rush hour.

The first super off peak ticket is available on the 9.57 but you cannot return between 16.00 and 19.00.

TRAVELLING THROUGH GATWICK

Reader Judy Stewart obtained this reply from the train company in response to concerns about passengers boarding at Gatwick after arriving from elsewhere in the world.

“Thank you for your email. I understand you have some concerns about passengers who have boarded at Gatwick station and arrived from overseas. I’ll be pleased to discuss this with you here today.

“I can certainly appreciate why this is a worry for you, especially since the 14 day quarantine period was introduced. However, I would like to reassure you, that we are doing everything we can to keep our passengers and our services safe. All of our services are thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis and are also sprayed with a product called ‘Zoono Virucide’ which is effective for up to 30 days on surfaces and up to 24 hours on the skin. Our employees have an app which lets them know which services are coming to the end of their 30 day spray, so we can ensure the service is sprayed again as soon as possible so that it’s protected. 

This is also in addition to encouraging all passengers to wear a face covering if they’re able to do so. 

I do hope this information has been of use, and I hope you’re staying safe and well during this time. If I can be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to let me know.”

INTERESTED IN HELPING WITH SCHOOLS STREETS WORK AND BIKE TRAINS?

Cycle Lewes says “We’d like to see how we could get some of this work going in Lewes working with Lewes Living Streets.  If you are a parent/carer with children at any of the schools in Lewes we particularly want to hear from you to get your ideas and how you could help/facilitate.  If not, and you’d be happy to be a volunteer rider/coordinator let us know.

This work will only start if we can engage more of our members/supporters and make links with schools.
Sustrans have started some of these in Brighton as part of the Emergency Active Travel Fund work; we are still waiting to find out if ESCC will support School Streets in Lewes. Regardless, we’d still like to see them in our town.   https://www.sustrans.org.uk/our-blog/opinion/2020/august/school-streets-provide-solution-to-inactivity-congestion-and-air-pollution

A MESSAGE FROM SOUTH COAST ACTION FOR TRANSPORT AND ENVIRONMENT (SCATE)

The Government is currently consulting on how to cut carbon emissions from transport – deadline is 31 August

It’s really important that the Government gets a strong message that it needs to stop building roads and invest in sustainable solutions instead, including broadband.

Our headline points are:

Government should take clear leadership 

  1. Set mandatory carbon budgets for transport (separate for both surface transport and aviation) with a clear pathway to net zero at both a national and regional level
  2. Set road traffic reduction target nationally to give a clear steer that technical solutions are not enough
  3. Create an affordable, clean and fully integrated public transport network including for rural areas funded by road pricing
  4. Create a fair and just transport system that doesn’t leave people behind and improves public health and wellbeing
  5. Increase faster broadband rollout, increasing speeds and capacity

Stop making things worse 

  1. Repurpose money for roads from RIS2 and other funding streams and put into positive solutions that will reduce emissions
  2. Fully integrate transport into planning and stop enabling car dependent developments

You can email the DfT (preferably in your own words) via: TDP@dft.gov.uk

We’ve also produced guidance for those wanting to respond using the Government’s questionnaire online.

For more information about this and other consultations see our Take Action! page