Early Bird 380 service axed

A loss-making bus service linking Hastings, Bexhill and Battle to Gatwick Airport is set to be axed next week.

The Early Bird 380 service, a joint venture between Metrobus and Gatwick, will cease services on 22 April.

The Early Bird service was introduced at the end of May 2015 to improve late night and early morning public transport links to Gatwick.

St Leonards and Hastings Rail Improvement (SHRIMP), Bexhill Rail Action Group (BRAG) and East Sussex Rail Alliance (ESRA) are ‘disappointed’ by the decision to scrap the twice-nightly service. However, the number of passengers using the service is insufficient to justify running the service.

Martin Woodfine, from SHRIMP, said: “This was a bold initiative which we regret has not been the success that was hoped for. Hindsight is a marvellous tool, but the lack of promotion by the operators, a routing which by-passed population catchment areas, and unclear signage at the airport are all significant contributory factors to the failure of the service.

“In reality, a substantial percentage of the population never saw the bus or knew it operated, despite SHRIMP-placed media articles.”

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