Act to save Lewes Bus Station
Good news – ESCC is consulting about bus services and could get a grant from a government pot to help improve them. Bad news – Lewes Bus Station is at risk of being demolished, reports Susan Murray
A “pre” planning application has been submitted to the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) to redevelop Lewes Bus Station but contains no apparent replacement bus drop off and waiting area.
Proposals for the site include demolition of existing buildings and construction of a mixed-use, six-storey development, including office/retail use and 50 residential units. There are also proposals for landscaping, parking and cycle parking.
Lewes Bus Station is in a central location and has iconic fifties architecture, both familiar and well loved by many residents. It is also still a functioning bus station!
Lewes is the largest town in a National Park in the UK. Developing the site would mean Lewes losing an important public transport hub – used extensively by residents, visitors and tourists – at a time when reducing carbon emissions has become critical. It is untenable that our National Park Authority would support the loss of such an essential feature of our town without an alternative site being proposed.
How to oppose the planning application
The application number is: SDNP/21/03284/PRE You can search for it on https://www.southdowns.gov.uk/planni…/find-an-application/ and write directly to SDNP planning dept here: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. and quoting reference: SDNP/21/03284/PRE.
….and respond to ESCC’s bus consultation
Meanwhile East Sussex County Council is consulting on what people want from bus services: https://news.eastsussex.gov.uk/2021/08/17/views-sought-on-future-bus-services/
Its lead member for transport and environment at East Sussex County Council, said: “The National Bus Strategy and the development of our Bus Service Improvement Plan offers a great opportunity for us to implement significant changes to bus services in East Sussex.”
ESCC currently spends £7.9m on passenger transport, or £10.2m with government grants presumably including the pensioners’ pass. Towns and parishes also contribute. If ESCC gets a grant, it could be several million pounds a year: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/major-boost-for-bus-services-as-pm-outlines-new-vision-for-local-transport.
This could be quite a big boost for buses in East Sussex, if it is spent wisely. So do have your say about what would make buses work better for you. The deadline for responses is Tuesday 14 September. You might even mention the need for a functioning bus station in Lewes.