ARRIVA has announced a raft of changes to its local bus services, which will come into operation from March 11.
The company invited members of the public to suggest improvements to the networks when it conducted a review at the end of last year, and the consultation period ended on January 7.
The changes include the reintroduction of a number of services in rural areas, including the No 6 linking East Peckham with Maidstone, and connecting Five Oak Green with Tunbridge Wells, Paddock Wood and East Peckham.
There are also new services between Tonbridge and Knights Park and North Farm on Tunbridge Wells industrial estate, and additional buses to Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury.
Arriva are opening a new multi-million pound bus depot on May 27 in Kingstanding Way, North Farm. It replaces the former one in St John’s Road, which closed last October after 80 years.
An extension to town centre routes will now serve Sainsbury’s at Tunbridge Wells West station and nearby Showfields and Ramslye, and a more frequent No 285 to Hawkenbury, including a new Saturday provision.
To simplify the numbering of buses to Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells schools, some services will now include letter suffixes to denote which school the bus is serving.
The renumbering is part of an exercise by Kent County Council to reduce the large number of service numbers used on school buses by a variety of local bus companies.
In Sevenoaks, they are introducing minibus routes replacing the 452 between Kemsing, Seal and Sevenoaks and the 402 that covers the section between Sevenoaks, Riverhead and Dunton Green.
Commuters from Chipstead will benefit from direct links with the station during the morning peak period and in the evening.
Oliver Monahan, Area Managing Director of Arriva Kent and Surrey told the Times: “I wanted to thank your readers for taking the time to give their thoughts and feedback on Arriva’s bus services.
“It really is important to me that we listen to customers and ask for their comments and feedback wherever possible.
“Thanks to you and your neighbours in the areas we serve, we received lots of feedback covering a range of subjects, including suggestions for new routes through to suggestions to reintroduce routes that have been withdrawn in the past.”
YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE NEW SERVICES
77 West Malling – Kings Hill – Hadlow – Tonbridge – Bennett Memorial is renumbered 77B.
147 Kings Hill – Hadlow – North Tonbridge – Tonbridge – Bennett Memorial is renumbered 147B.
148 West Malling – Kings Hill – Hadlow – Weald of Kent or Hayesbrook
The 7.22am from West Malling to Hayesbrook will be renumbered 77C; and the 3.50pm from Weald of Kent to West Malling will now be 77A.
257 Hawkenbury – Tunbridge Wells – Cross Keys Schools
The afternoon bus will no longer run due to insufficient use.
286 Tunbridge Wells – Southborough – Speldhurst – Groombridge – Hartfield – Colemans Hatch
The 3.41pm bus from St. John’s Road to Colemans Hatch will now start from the rail station at the existing time of 3.47pm.
400: Westerham – Sevenoaks – Tonbridge – Weald of Kent
The timetable will be revised to improve reliability and the route will be adjusted in Sevenoaks to run via the bus station to improve connections. This service will be renumbered 402W. SS 502 serving Bennett Memorial will be renumbered 402B.
403 Dunton Green – Sevenoaks – Tonbridge schools
Minor changes to the timetable to improve reliability.
572: Hildenborough – Tonbridge – Weald of Kent
The 3.55pm bus from Weald of Kent to Watts Cross will run five minutes later.
6/6A Tunbridge Wells – East Peckham – Maidstone
The timetable will be completely revised and a direct link will be reinstated between Tunbridge Wells, East Peckham and Maidstone following requests from our customers, as will a link to Five Oak Green.
Service 6 will run hourly on Mondays to Saturdays via the existing route through Matfield between Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone.
One bus in each direction will continue to run to and from Invicta Grammar School.
As a result of service 6 being extended to Maidstone, Service 66 will no longer run.
Service 6A will continue to run hourly between Tunbridge Wells and East Peckham but from Pembury it will run via Stonecourt Lane, Colts Hill, Five Oak Green and Mascalls Road to Paddock Wood instead of via Matfield.
The 6 and 6A will provide two buses an hour between Tunbridge Wells and East Peckham
On Mondays to Saturdays all 6 and 6A buses will run in East Peckham via Church Lane, Pound Road and Old Road in both directions.
On Sundays they will run a one-way loop from Branbridges Road via Hale Street, Church Lane and Old Road.
7 Tunbridge Wells – Tonbridge – Maidstone
To improve reliability, the schoolday bus at 7am from Tunbridge Wells to Maidstone will run to revised times between Oakwood Park and Maidstone, arriving at the bus station at 8.31am.
66 East Peckham – Wateringbury – Maidstone Hospital
Due to lack of use and the extension of Service 6 to run through to Maidstone, this service will no longer run.
218/219 North Tonbridge – Tonbridge – Tunbridge Wells Hospital
The timetable will be completely revised on this route; on Mondays to Saturdays off-peak buses will be extended beyond Tunbridge Wells Hospital to run to Knights Park and North Farm, giving new links to the retail park from Tonbridge.
In the daytime it will now run every 20 minutes on each route on Mondays to Fridays and every 30 minutes on Saturdays, giving combined frequencies of every 10 and every 15 minutes respectively.
277 Tunbridge Wells – Sherwood – North Farm – Knights Park – Tunbridge Wells Hospital
Another completely revised service. In the daytime it will now run every 20 minutes on Mondays to Saturdays and every 30 minutes on Sundays with most buses running through from Sainsbury’s to Tunbridge Wells Hospital, giving more buses to North Farm, Knights Park, the hospital and Sainsbury’s.
281 Rusthall – Tunbridge Wells – High Brooms
The timetable will be revised to improve reliability but there will be no changes to the main frequencies.
285 Tunbridge Wells – Forest Road – Hawkenbury
The timetable will be revised to give an improved frequency of every 30 minutes and will also run on Saturdays.
The route will also be extended beyond Tunbridge Wells station to serve Sainsbury’s, Showfields and Ramslye, running in a clockwise loop around the two estates and then via Eridge Road back to Sainsbury’s and the town.
402 Tunbridge Wells – Tonbridge – Sevenoaks – Dunton Green
The main service will be revised to run between Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks bus station only and the timetable will be adjusted to improve reliability
The section of route between Sevenoaks and Dunton Green will be replaced by new Service 1 (see below).
452 Kemsing – Seal – Bat & Ball – Sevenoaks
This service will be replaced by new minibus Service 2 (see below)
No 1 Sevenoaks – Dunton Green – Ryewood
This new service will run on Mondays to Saturdays between Dunton Green and the bus station, replacing the 402.
Between the bus station and the railway station, buses will run via Tubs Hill and Pembroke Road in both directions instead of via St Botolph’s Road. During the main part of the day buses will run every 30 minutes
Prior to 9am on Mondays to Fridays buses will run via Chipstead village for the benefit of commuters travelling to Sevenoaks station and the buses back from Sevenoaks between 4pm and 7.40pm will also run via Chipstead.
One bus in each direction will extend beyond Sevenoaks bus station to serve Trinity School.
No 2 Sevenoaks – Bat & Ball – Seal – Kemsing – Noah’s Ark
This new service will run on Mondays to Saturdays between Noah’s Ark and the bus station, replacing the 452.
The main daytime frequencies will be every 30 minutes on Mondays to Fridays and hourly on Saturdays
Between Bat & Ball and the bus station, buses will run in both directions via Mount Harry Road, the railway station, Tubs Hill and Pembroke Road instead of via St Botolph’s Road
Some buses will serve Knole Academy and Trinity School.