Tunbridge Wells Borough Council will consider permanently re-routing buses away from Fiveways, it has been announced.
A study into alternative routes – a plan previously agreed by the council – will be carried out, at an estimated cost of £8,100, which will come from existing budgets. The decision was announced at last Thursday’s meeting of the Town Forum.
Buses had been temporarily re-routed while work on the first phase of the Fiveways scheme went ahead, but operators have seemed reluctant to proposals to make the diverted routes permanent.
They argued costs would inevitably go up owing to the longer journeys, with customers ultimately paying through higher fares.
A spokesman for Arriva, one of Tunbridge Wells’ biggest bus operators said: “Buses take thousands of people into the town centre each week and it is important we drop them off where they want to be.
“People want as direct a route as possible and if you add distance to a bus route, you add time and higher fuel costs which will ultimately make the journey more expensive.”
But a council spokesman said no final decision had yet been made, adding:
“Councillor Alan McDermott, portfolio holder for planning and transportation, has agreed that a study can be carried out which will look at the opportunities for rationalisation of bus routes in the town.”
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