Two bus services replace scrapped 81 route in Hanover and Elm Grove

Elm Grove in Brighton

Elm Grove in Brighton

First published in News by , Local government reporter

A bus service serving the Hanover and Elm Grove area of Brighton is to be scrapped and replaced with two new routes.

Hundreds of people in the so-called “muesli mountain” rely on the 81 to scale the hills.

But from April 13 the service will disappear and be replaced with two new routes.

Brighton and Hove Bus Company claims it will result in a “better and more frequent service” with ten an hour to the Queens Park area instead of the current five.


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But some have expressed concerns those living in Hanover will no longer have a direct service to the city centre.

The new circular 20 route - dubbed the Queens Park shuttle - will run every ten minutes during the day from Churchill Square.

It will go via Egremont Place, Elm Grove, London Road and Brighton Station before terminating in Western Road.

A separate 21 route will run from Goldstone Valley to Brighton Marina via Elm Grove, Queens Park Road, Freshfield Road and Manor Hill.

Mo Marsh, a Labour councillor for Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, said: “It's a bit like Looking Glass Land - you have to travel in the wrong direction to get into town.

“There is absolutely no point in having up to ten buses an hour if you can't get directly to the centre and then on to Hove.

“Folk don't want to have a meandering route which takes longer, goes away from the centre via London Road before accessing Churchill Square and then a walk to get to North Street.”

Andrew Boag, chairman of Brighton Area Buswatch, said: “The new network won't please everyone but we believe Brighton and Hove Buses has tried hard to develop an improved network which will be more frequent and more reliable than the current 81 service.

“Brighton Area Buswatch supports these changes and welcomes your comments.”

Liz Wakefield, Green councillor for Hanover and Elm Grove, called for a public meeting to discuss the issue.

When publishing the timetable, a spokesman for Brighton and Hove Buses said: “We are always pleased to receive suggestions for improvements but as timetables have to be finalised some time in advance we would need to receive these by the end of May 2014 to be considered for the September 2014 Bus Times book.”

To comment, email info@buses.co.uk or write to 43 Conway Street, Hove, BN3 3LT.

Comments (10)

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7:00am Fri 24 Jan 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Hence why people living at the top of some of the steepest hills in the city use cars. The bus service is for the time rich, students, non working or retired as it takes an hour to get into town making it unusable for commuters travelling to London as it only takes an hour to get from Brighton to Victoria. It also perhaps explains why the fancy new Lewes Road bus lane saw a 40 per cent increase in taxi traffic.
In live at the top of Bear Road and the bus service is poor and now buses struggle to get up Coombe Road due to the atrocious queues caused by the bus lane on the Lewes Road the service is a write off as the timings are so unreliable and I am sure Councillor Marsh is probably aware.
Sort it out councillor. Even the bus lane delayed buses so they have returned to using the Lewes Road as a two lane road as do the taxis. Just return it to two lanes for all vehicles and get the traffic moving. The bikes will still have their lane as they always did.
Hence why people living at the top of some of the steepest hills in the city use cars. The bus service is for the time rich, students, non working or retired as it takes an hour to get into town making it unusable for commuters travelling to London as it only takes an hour to get from Brighton to Victoria. It also perhaps explains why the fancy new Lewes Road bus lane saw a 40 per cent increase in taxi traffic. In live at the top of Bear Road and the bus service is poor and now buses struggle to get up Coombe Road due to the atrocious queues caused by the bus lane on the Lewes Road the service is a write off as the timings are so unreliable and I am sure Councillor Marsh is probably aware. Sort it out councillor. Even the bus lane delayed buses so they have returned to using the Lewes Road as a two lane road as do the taxis. Just return it to two lanes for all vehicles and get the traffic moving. The bikes will still have their lane as they always did. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 14

12:58pm Fri 24 Jan 14

stepheye says...

I'd like to know where the public consultation is on this issue? I live in Hanover and use the bus to get into the centre of town as well as commuting to work at the University of Sussex (don't get me started on the 25 route and the 'bendy buses'...).

The 81 is a valuable service for the whole community, apart from those who can afford to have cars/really can't spend the time waiting for buses. So I agree, increased frequency is great, but that's cancelled by the change in direction, for me anyway.

I wrote to both the council and the Bus company last year about cutting the evening late night service to Goldstone villas...and no reply from either.

I can't afford taxis at night and I'm not happy walking late at night in some areas of town, plus, oh yes I pay council tax towards the bus service...
I'd like to know where the public consultation is on this issue? I live in Hanover and use the bus to get into the centre of town as well as commuting to work at the University of Sussex (don't get me started on the 25 route and the 'bendy buses'...). The 81 is a valuable service for the whole community, apart from those who can afford to have cars/really can't spend the time waiting for buses. So I agree, increased frequency is great, but that's cancelled by the change in direction, for me anyway. I wrote to both the council and the Bus company last year about cutting the evening late night service to Goldstone villas...and no reply from either. I can't afford taxis at night and I'm not happy walking late at night in some areas of town, plus, oh yes I pay council tax towards the bus service... stepheye
  • Score: 7

1:17pm Fri 24 Jan 14

stepheye says...

stepheye wrote:
I'd like to know where the public consultation is on this issue? I live in Hanover and use the bus to get into the centre of town as well as commuting to work at the University of Sussex (don't get me started on the 25 route and the 'bendy buses'...).

The 81 is a valuable service for the whole community, apart from those who can afford to have cars/really can't spend the time waiting for buses. So I agree, increased frequency is great, but that's cancelled by the change in direction, for me anyway.

I wrote to both the council and the Bus company last year about cutting the evening late night service to Goldstone villas...and no reply from either.

I can't afford taxis at night and I'm not happy walking late at night in some areas of town, plus, oh yes I pay council tax towards the bus service...
*ps - not only afford cars, but find somewhere to park them ; )
[quote][p][bold]stepheye[/bold] wrote: I'd like to know where the public consultation is on this issue? I live in Hanover and use the bus to get into the centre of town as well as commuting to work at the University of Sussex (don't get me started on the 25 route and the 'bendy buses'...). The 81 is a valuable service for the whole community, apart from those who can afford to have cars/really can't spend the time waiting for buses. So I agree, increased frequency is great, but that's cancelled by the change in direction, for me anyway. I wrote to both the council and the Bus company last year about cutting the evening late night service to Goldstone villas...and no reply from either. I can't afford taxis at night and I'm not happy walking late at night in some areas of town, plus, oh yes I pay council tax towards the bus service...[/p][/quote]*ps - not only afford cars, but find somewhere to park them ; ) stepheye
  • Score: 3

7:11pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Bill in Hanover says...

From Elm Grove to Churchill Square takes about 30 minutes by foot and that includes some window shopping along the way, I live close to Elm Grove and, although the bus service is adequate, regularly walk it. Anyone who complains about the new service, which appears to be good, should get off their backsides and walk, especially if they live south of Elm Grove, which is closer to town.
From Elm Grove to Churchill Square takes about 30 minutes by foot and that includes some window shopping along the way, I live close to Elm Grove and, although the bus service is adequate, regularly walk it. Anyone who complains about the new service, which appears to be good, should get off their backsides and walk, especially if they live south of Elm Grove, which is closer to town. Bill in Hanover
  • Score: -4

11:07pm Fri 24 Jan 14

ghost bus driver says...

From what I can understand the new route is this:

Goldstone Valley via the current 81 route as far as North Street, then left in onto the A23 up to London road shops, then right into Oxford Street, Along Union Road and up Elm Grove, Right at the Junction and left into Queens Park Terrace. (This is where it gets unclear) either down Dawson Terrace or Cuthbert Road, Up Queensway to the roundabout at Race Hill (unlikely due to the narrow width of Queensway), OR left into Freshfield Road. Then it will go down Manor Hill, left at the bottom a la the current 21 up to Whitehawk, then down Swanborough Drive (due to problems in Vines Cross Road when buses meet there) then either straight down to the Marina or right into Marlow Road and to the Marina via Roedean Road. I'm sure that if Whitehawk garage share it with us it'll hand over at either Hove station for Conway Street and Whitehawk garage for Whitehawk drivers. Furze Hill will be served by a 21A apparently but I'm not yet sure what this will ido, either it will loop round like the 81B or run through to the Valley via Montpelier Road, Temple Gardens, Furze croft, Lansdowne Road, Palmeira Gardens and Eaton Road.

Too early to say yet.

I just hope any new starts around then know they'll have to learn 81s then completely re-learn the route for the new 21.
From what I can understand the new route is this: Goldstone Valley via the current 81 route as far as North Street, then left in onto the A23 up to London road shops, then right into Oxford Street, Along Union Road and up Elm Grove, Right at the Junction and left into Queens Park Terrace. (This is where it gets unclear) either down Dawson Terrace or Cuthbert Road, Up Queensway to the roundabout at Race Hill (unlikely due to the narrow width of Queensway), OR left into Freshfield Road. Then it will go down Manor Hill, left at the bottom a la the current 21 up to Whitehawk, then down Swanborough Drive (due to problems in Vines Cross Road when buses meet there) then either straight down to the Marina or right into Marlow Road and to the Marina via Roedean Road. I'm sure that if Whitehawk garage share it with us it'll hand over at either Hove station for Conway Street and Whitehawk garage for Whitehawk drivers. Furze Hill will be served by a 21A apparently but I'm not yet sure what this will ido, either it will loop round like the 81B or run through to the Valley via Montpelier Road, Temple Gardens, Furze croft, Lansdowne Road, Palmeira Gardens and Eaton Road. Too early to say yet. I just hope any new starts around then know they'll have to learn 81s then completely re-learn the route for the new 21. ghost bus driver
  • Score: 1

11:41pm Fri 24 Jan 14

nostalgic says...

Back when I was a schoolboy in the 1970s I used to get the circular route 42 to Brighton Seconday Tech in Hanover Terrace. It went from Brighton Station to the Seven Dials, down New England Hill to Preston Circus, then over to the Level, up Elm Grove, along Queen's Park Road, down to Edward Street (I think), then to the Old Steine, along London Road and up North Road (not Street) to Queens Road and back to the station. That was the clockwise version. This service also did a very similar journey in the anti-clockwise direction (but both called a 42). There was also a circular 41 that did about the same journey around the Queen's Park area but didn't go to the station. Instead it went from the Old Steine along Lewes Road to Elm Grove. I'm not so certain about the 41 as I never needed to catch it but I believe it was clockwise and anticlockwise too, but stand to be corrected.
Back when I was a schoolboy in the 1970s I used to get the circular route 42 to Brighton Seconday Tech in Hanover Terrace. It went from Brighton Station to the Seven Dials, down New England Hill to Preston Circus, then over to the Level, up Elm Grove, along Queen's Park Road, down to Edward Street (I think), then to the Old Steine, along London Road and up North Road (not Street) to Queens Road and back to the station. That was the clockwise version. This service also did a very similar journey in the anti-clockwise direction (but both called a 42). There was also a circular 41 that did about the same journey around the Queen's Park area but didn't go to the station. Instead it went from the Old Steine along Lewes Road to Elm Grove. I'm not so certain about the 41 as I never needed to catch it but I believe it was clockwise and anticlockwise too, but stand to be corrected. nostalgic
  • Score: 1

9:01am Sat 25 Jan 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Bill I live in Bear Road and I walk it all the time as the bus service is non existent. However, it's a steep hill with bags of shopping and many, many older folk live up here and it is impossible for them, even though many did them trip every day for most if their lives while working or as kids. Many have lived here for 50 years or more.
Most of the old folk also worked in the trades and by 65, are waiting for knee replacements, hips etc as a result of being on the buildings or other manual trades and you see them hobbling about.
They ain't lazy, just worn out and they can't even use their free bus passes because there aren't any buses. The students up here either have cars or share cabs which probably also explains the rise in taxis on the Lewes Road.
Bill I live in Bear Road and I walk it all the time as the bus service is non existent. However, it's a steep hill with bags of shopping and many, many older folk live up here and it is impossible for them, even though many did them trip every day for most if their lives while working or as kids. Many have lived here for 50 years or more. Most of the old folk also worked in the trades and by 65, are waiting for knee replacements, hips etc as a result of being on the buildings or other manual trades and you see them hobbling about. They ain't lazy, just worn out and they can't even use their free bus passes because there aren't any buses. The students up here either have cars or share cabs which probably also explains the rise in taxis on the Lewes Road. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 1

8:48pm Sat 25 Jan 14

ghost bus driver says...

I think the 38 ought to go up Bear Rd, or the Coombe Rd and an alternating 38A up Bear Rd. Or you could always ask Tom Druitt. maybe he would be interested in running something.
I think the 38 ought to go up Bear Rd, or the Coombe Rd and an alternating 38A up Bear Rd. Or you could always ask Tom Druitt. maybe he would be interested in running something. ghost bus driver
  • Score: 0

3:09pm Sun 26 Jan 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

They do ghost bus driver but the timetable isn't great and the first one in the morning is 7.45 and is now really unreliable because of the traffic queues in Coombe Road so the poor driver coming up the hill in the single deck can't get past the traffic sat in the queue coming down the hill waiting to get out of Coombe onto Lewes Road. The council has changed the phasing of the lights so only three cars exit Coombe at a time, I guess to keep Lewes road lights green longer to keep the traffic moving now there's only one lane.
It's a distaster for this little narrow road, for buses, cyclists and motorists.
They do ghost bus driver but the timetable isn't great and the first one in the morning is 7.45 and is now really unreliable because of the traffic queues in Coombe Road so the poor driver coming up the hill in the single deck can't get past the traffic sat in the queue coming down the hill waiting to get out of Coombe onto Lewes Road. The council has changed the phasing of the lights so only three cars exit Coombe at a time, I guess to keep Lewes road lights green longer to keep the traffic moving now there's only one lane. It's a distaster for this little narrow road, for buses, cyclists and motorists. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 1

7:09pm Sun 26 Jan 14

ghost bus driver says...

Maxwell's Ghost wrote:
They do ghost bus driver but the timetable isn't great and the first one in the morning is 7.45 and is now really unreliable because of the traffic queues in Coombe Road so the poor driver coming up the hill in the single deck can't get past the traffic sat in the queue coming down the hill waiting to get out of Coombe onto Lewes Road. The council has changed the phasing of the lights so only three cars exit Coombe at a time, I guess to keep Lewes road lights green longer to keep the traffic moving now there's only one lane.
It's a distaster for this little narrow road, for buses, cyclists and motorists.
Yeah it's pretty bad when we do 81Cs on sundays - not that I've done one of those in years. Trouble is using the single deck Scanias we have on the 81 at the moment is out as they would be far too long for the turn out of Bear Road. I think they are too big anyway. Shame, as they are really nice to drive. Not forgetting also, when the Corporation ran the 45 up there (To the old Bevendean Hospital, I think) the gyratory hadn't even been thought of.
[quote][p][bold]Maxwell's Ghost[/bold] wrote: They do ghost bus driver but the timetable isn't great and the first one in the morning is 7.45 and is now really unreliable because of the traffic queues in Coombe Road so the poor driver coming up the hill in the single deck can't get past the traffic sat in the queue coming down the hill waiting to get out of Coombe onto Lewes Road. The council has changed the phasing of the lights so only three cars exit Coombe at a time, I guess to keep Lewes road lights green longer to keep the traffic moving now there's only one lane. It's a distaster for this little narrow road, for buses, cyclists and motorists.[/p][/quote]Yeah it's pretty bad when we do 81Cs on sundays - not that I've done one of those in years. Trouble is using the single deck Scanias we have on the 81 at the moment is out as they would be far too long for the turn out of Bear Road. I think they are too big anyway. Shame, as they are really nice to drive. Not forgetting also, when the Corporation ran the 45 up there (To the old Bevendean Hospital, I think) the gyratory hadn't even been thought of. ghost bus driver
  • Score: 0

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