THE popular Santa Bus will return this festive season after visits were cancelled last year due to coronavirus.

Brighton and Hove Buses and Metrobus’s Santa Bus is a familiar sight in the city in the run up to Christmas, as the open-top double-decker tours the streets collecting funds for charities.

The Argus is the official media partner for the Santa Bus and will be sharing information about its vital work in the build up to the festive season.

The Argus: The Santa Bus in Brighton and HoveThe Santa Bus in Brighton and Hove

Each year in December, Santa and his elves can be seen waving from the bus, which is decked out with fairy lights and playing Christmas music.

This year, the bus company will be collecting donations online and from local businesses instead of its usual door-to-door bucket collections.

The decision comes after organisers cancelled last year’s bus tour and moved operations online as a result of the pandemic.

Brighton and Hove Buses managing director Martin Harris is appealing to businesses across the city to become Santa Bus collection points.

He said: “It’s a welcome return for the Santa Bus this year and I hope it brings some much-needed Christmas light and cheer to everyone in the city.

“Most importantly, it raises money for some of the hard-working community groups that have been a lifeline for people over the past 18 months.

“Preparing for Santa Bus season is always exciting and brings together colleagues from every department, decorating and driving the bus and dressing up as elves.

“We owe a huge thank you to our customers and local communities. The Santa Bus is only possible with their help, even more so this year as businesses and organisations take part by becoming collection points.”

Every participating business will receive a collection bucket and poster and appear on the bus company’s Santa Bus map on the website.

Anna and Yogesh Kotecha, who have run Cookes Newsagent in Montefiore Road, Hove, for the past 30 years, have already volunteered to help collect donations.

Anna said: "Every Christmas the Santa Bus drives right past my shop and Santa always gives us a wave as he goes by.

“It’s so exciting to be the first Santa Bus collection point and I am really looking forward to welcoming everyone into my store.”

This year’s chosen charities include Albion In The Community, BHT Sussex, Brighton Sussex University Hospitals Charity, Chestnut Tree House, East Sussex Credit Union Foundation, Impact Initiatives, Martlets, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Racial Harassment Forum, Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare, Switchboard and Together Co.

The Santa Bus has raised over £300,000 for local charities and organisations since it began in 2004.

To register as a Santa Bus collection point and to find a list of routes the Santa Bus covers, visit

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