The following is a guest blog post by Sam Gunner:
They said they would be back!
The Sussex Bus starting from the 15th of April will have a new route, the 134 and the 135. You might be thinking, that rings a bell. That’s because The Sussex Bus used to have the 34 & the 35 routes before they lost out to Metrobus in a fair battle.
On the first day of Metrobus running the routes they brought New busses, polite uniformed drivers, the next week real time bus times came (GPS so you can tell how far away it really is) and the following month new bus stop signs. Patronage seems to have increased since re-storing the route via Hammonds Ridge and a new addition giving Sparrow Way the first bus service it has seen.
Now on the first day The Sussex bus threw their toys out of the pram – having a free voluntary donation only bus service so no one would use Metrobus’ services. The day after they retreated. Ever since then they have stickers on their “new” busses saying “Support your local independent operator”. Now I don’t know about anyone else, however I will use and fight for the service that is better, Metrobus has all the aforementioned benefits and I have not once had an issue with them after using the 34 & 35 daily.
So why am I so against The Sussex Bus?
Well they are a new company who stem from Heritage coaches and took over from Countryliner who went into Administration late last year, I applaud them for being able to run a service the next day, however Southdown PSV and Compass Bus (Another local independent operator both of which I applaud) did the same with other routes. The Sussex Bus now has old Stagecoach busses that have been repainted? Red (They are Ex london busses) they still have Stagecoach seat covers, and in some cases Stagecoach or London Specific adverts and information signs.
I have also had issues with their services that I sometimes have to use that include Not being able to board with a Valid Burgess Hill Saver Ticket, after showing proof on the Metrobus Website that it’s accepted on ALL Busses within Burgess Hill and after the driver rudely called me and Metrobus liars then leaving me in the rain to walk to the other side of town, Their drivers have sworn at me before when asking for a return and he printed a single having to revoke the ticket because of the mistake HE made. and the fact that all of their busses are dirty, old, out of condition and just generally unpleasant.
Why create the 134 and 135 routes?
Now I have said why I dislike the Sussex Bus, I think it’s obvious why I don’t want them to get in on Metrobus’ territory. I do not wish to lose the Metrobus services in replacement of The Sussex Bus, The route they have chosen for the 134 and the 135 is rather silly too as it misses out The triangle (Aside from a few services a day) and Tescos gets no service, with 1 bus serving both routes. What’s the point?
Join the dedicated Facebook Group
The Sussex Bus said they would be back, Who actually wants them back? Join the Facebook group here https://www.facebook.com/IHateThesussexbuscom and above all Travel Metrobus!
I am not against independent operators and I firmly believe that Compass Bus and Southdown PSV provide excellent service that rivals many big companies, however the way that The Sussex Bus have not improved in over 3 months when Metrobus improve in 1 day and for the Sussex Bus to then have the audacity to think they are better when I have had so many issues, (knowing I am not unique to this) is unbelievable!
Are you a user of buses in Burgess Hill? Are Sussex Bus really as bad as our gust blogger claims? Does there need to be the extra 134 and 135 routes? Who do you think is the best bus company serving the town?