A bus company is bidding for the affections of Haywards Heath passengers after introducing a rival bus route.
The Sussex Bus Company is adding a new route to its timetable in March, which will take passengers from Lindfield to Haywards Heath and on to the hospital.
But the bus route already has loyal customers, with Southdowns PSV bus company running a similar route through the town.
Southdowns customer Roy Hayward said the new route by the Sussex Bus Company will run five minutes earlier than the existing bus.
“If Sussex Bus Company want to put a bus in front of the Southdowns, people will get on the earlier bus. People will get on the first bus that comes,” he said.
“It will be a shame in this case.
“The current bus is almost like a social club where you meet people.
“Everyone knows everybody else and you are aware of the driver.”
Mr Hayward, who lives in Little Bentswood Close, in Haywards Heath, said it could put the existing buses out of business as no one will wait for them.
Steve Swain, managing director at Southdowns PSV agreed, saying their route will soon become unviable and ‘unsustainable’.
“We would like to thank all the residents of Haywards Heath for their custom,” he told the Middy.
“I would like to thank my drivers for giving such a good service.
“It is just simple economics that there aren’t enough passengers to support both services.”
Mr Swain said in the past two or three bus companies would be competing to get to the stop first.
“We have just taken the view that it would be best to stop the service,” he added.
The Sussex Bus Company will run its new regular service linking Haywards Heath and Lindfield and a new service to Burgess Hill serving Tesco, West Park Estate and the Triangle.
The Sussex Bus Company did not comment on the plans for the new route but details are available on its website.
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