Two consultations have been launched proposing bus pilots in Maidstone and West Malling.
It comes following last year’s Big Conversation, which gauged opinion on how Kent County Council could best help provide sustainable rural transport.
KCC currently supports services 13 and 59 in Maidstone. The proposal revises these services to become feeder buses, which provide more frequent journeys for the villages currently served.
For this to happen, the services would no longer go all the way into Maidstone and instead terminate at Morrisons, Sutton Road, where passengers would change onto frequent buses into Maidstone or Tenterden. Improvements to bus shelters including digital timing boards are also planned.
In West Malling, KCC supports the service 58 and plans to adopt a similar approach.
Two proposals have been devised, which the public are being consulted on:
- A short feeder service where passengers transfer at Martin Square, Larkfield
- A long feeder service where passengers transfer at Maidstone Hospital, Barming.
Both of these would feed into existing commercial services that run into Maidstone town centre.
School travel will be unaffected, and all services will continue to run directly to and from Maidstone at these times.
Bus pilots have also been proposed for Dover, Sevenoaks and Tenterden. KCC is currently developing these alongside parish councils.
If they progress, the trial services would run for at least a year. It is hoped they will prove to be a more sustainable model that can be used elsewhere in the county.
The consultation launched today (Tuesday, January 22) and finishes on Tuesday, February 19.