gallipot inn
John Hawkridge has installed a fake bus stop outside his pub the Gallipot InnGallipot Inn

An intrepid landlord has found a new way of attracting punters by installing a fake bus stop outside his pub.

John Hawkridge, who saved the Gallipot Inn from closure in 2013, found the discarded stop in a hedge and jumped at the chance to reinstate it while slipping in his own flyer of bus times.

People are now arriving by the busload to the Upper Hartfield tavern. "We have good food, good drink – and now a good bus stop," Hawkridge told the East Grinstead Courier.

"I found the sign outside the Queen's Arms in Cowden – it had been taken down because the stop was thought dangerous – so it had been stuck in a hedge for a year. I just moved it and put it outside."

Metrobus is in the process of lobbying East Sussex County Council to make the stop official.

Metrobus spokesman Nick Hill said: "For many years, buses have stopped on request on a 'hail and ride' basis near the Gallipot Inn and we have been asking the county council to install fixed stops to make it clearer to potential passengers that buses stop there. Unfortunately the council has been unable to do this."

But the council said it was in the process of identifying a site for the bus stop which is likely to be installed this summer.

A council spokesman said: "Two bus stops outside the Gallipot Inn in Hartfield have existed for many years as unmarked "custom and practice" stops, something that is common in rural areas.

"We have been working with the local bus operators to identify the most appropriate site for bus stop signs to make using bus services easier. Following these discussions, two poles and official bus stop signs are expected to be installed next to and opposite the Gallipot Inn this summer."