Kent County Council has said it does not support the changes being made by Arriva buses and is doing what it can to limit the impact
Arriva introduced alterations to its services in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells at the start of April.
He said: “We don’t support these changes, and we are very concerned that they mean services are less convenient for the travelling public.
“We know they are causing real concern to many bus passengers in the area, and that students and parents are particularly impacted – especially as the new term starts next week.
“Arriva does not need, and has not sought, Kent County Council’s permission for these changes which it is able to introduce of its own accord. We have no powers to prevent them from happening.”
One of Kent County Council’s particular concerns is the lack of information for customers ahead of making the changes, which could have allowed the public the opportunity to comment and inform on how they would affect people.
Mr Wilkin continued: “The county council does have a role in considering services where they are not provided commercially; this is usually because they run in areas or at times when the number of passengers is too low for a service to be profitable.
“Because of this, our officers have been working hard to identify any instances where the changes being made by Arriva will leave passengers without any bus service whatsoever, or will not provide enough space for all passengers.
“Where this is the case we will seek to make alternative arrangements.”
KCC warns, however, that pressures with funding means it does not have the means or the ability to replace all of the lost services.
Mr Wilkin added: “If we do need to step in, it might mean that alternative arrangements will allow people to travel, but at times which are less convenient than those that were available before the changes.
“A combination of legal and funding restrictions means we are not going to be able to respond to every change where Arriva has left people stranded.”
The council has advised that anyone who feels disadvantaged by the changes should express their concerns to the company by writing to Arriva Customer Services, Freepost ANG 7624, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU4 8BR.