An invitation to travel for free

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Cllr Stephen Catlin

Clevedown, Lewes

Are the rail replacement buses on the Seaford line an invitation to travel free of charge? I think so!

I travelled from Lewes to Newhaven Town and back on Sunday, August 19, having bought my ticket at the booking hall in Lewes station. Although there were railway staff supervising those boarding the bus, no-one asked to see the ticket.

At Newhaven Town for the return journey there were three railway staff. A passenger asked for a ticket to Lewes and was told “Oh, pay at the other end, no-one checks the tickets on the buses.” And he was right – they didn’t.

But who pays? Who covers the cost of the buses?

When the service was last suspended on this line, during a period of strikes, free travel was taken by many. How can this be? Does no-one notice the fall in revenue and ask, as I do: Why?