Arriva announces Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge bus timetable changes

Pam Mills

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a range of subjects, including suggestions for new routes through to suggestions to reintroduce routes that have been withdrawn in the past.”

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