Santa Bus 2019 launched as Christmas lights switched on 

4 years ago Fri 15th Nov 2019

Brighton & Hove Buses’ Santa Bus 2019 was officially launched last night (Thursday 14 November) when Santa himself switched on the bus’ 9,600 fairy lights and Donatello restaurant’s Christmas lights. 

Scores of children and their families turned up to meet Santa and his elves and watch the lights go on, as a flurry of snow filled the air from the restaurant’s snow machine. 

The bus makes its first outing on Monday 25 November, when Santa will visit the boys and girls of Goldstone and Downs Park.  

The Santa Bus visits more than 200 streets in Brighton & Hove over 20 nights in the run-up to Christmas, spreading festive cheer while fundraising for 11 charities. 

This year’s charities are: Amaze, Chestnut Tree House, East Sussex Credit Union Foundation, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Moulsecoomb Forest Garden, Ronald McDonald House, Say Aphasia, Take Shelter, Martlets, Trust for Developing Communities and YMCA Downslink Group.   

The bus has raised more than £250,000 for numerous local charities since it began 16 years ago and has significantly raised the happiness levels of the city while doing it! When it's not out fundraising, the bus transports disabled children to Christmas parties all over the city. 

Brighton & Hove Buses’ Managing Director Martin Harris said: “Our brilliant team of engineers has got the bus ready for Santa’s expeditions across the city, complete with lights and music. We also have a cheerful crew of volunteer elves and reindeer on standby to help Santa out every night. 

“The generosity of people living in Brighton & Hove blows me away every single year. These 11 charities make life better for so many people in this city. Last year we raised more than £30,000. I’m sure we can beat that this year.” 

Brighton & Hove Buses' Accessibility and Communities Manager Victoria Garcia said: "It's my favourite part of the job and the most magical time of the year. The best thing is seeing people's faces light up as the Santa Bus goes down their street and Santa gives them a wave. 

“Quite a few people have told me that they only feel like Christmas has started when they’ve seen the Santa Bus." 

Volunteer bucket collectors will knock on doors and collect donations as the Santa Bus makes it way around the city and its suburbs. Envelopes will be posted through every door the day before, which people can display on collection night, if they don’t want anybody to knock on their door.  

The Santa Bus will visit the city and suburbs including Bevendean, Coldean, Downs Park, Goldstone, Hangleton, Hollingdean, Meadowview, Mile Oak, Mouslecoomb, Patcham, Peacehaven, Southwick, Wish East, Wish West and Whitehawk.  

Santa will stay on the bus so he can visit as many people as possible in one night, just as he does on Christmas Eve, but rest assured he knows where everyone lives. 

For a full list of dates and maps of Santa’s routes and to find out how to donate, check out:  

You can get live updates on Santa’s location on our website using the Santa Tracker.   

The Santa Bus makes its first trip on Monday 25 November, between 5.30pm and 8.30pm, and runs until Friday 20 December.