Published: 15:30, 08 November 2017
Ashford’s little & often minibus fleet is set to expand.
Bus company Stagecoach this week announced plans to extend the service to other parts of the town.
From Sunday, November 19, local routes E and G will increase in frequency when they become part of the Mercedes operated little and often network.
Godinton Park and Repton Park, which currently get two buses an hour, will benefit from double the frequency with buses every 15 minutes.
Little Burton, The Street, Eureka Park and South Willesborough will also see a boost in frequency, with buses every 20 minutes.
The fleet of little & often minibuses first hit the road in February.
Since then Stagecoach says that they’ve seen growth in passenger numbers on the high frequency B and C routes, connecting the town centre and station with Park Farm and Kennington, and the William Harvey Hospital and Willesborough.
Now the bus company are set to enhance routes E and G by bringing them into the higher frequency little & often scheme.
Stagecoach managing director, Philip Norwell, said that these routes have continued to attract more and more passengers.
He said: “In 2015 we doubled the frequency of buses in Godinton Park. Now, less than three years later, we’re able to double it again.
“This is testament to Ashford’s continued growth and our commitment to supporting it with a responsive and high quality transport network.”
As part of the changes route E will extend beyond the town centre to serve South Willesborough and Orbital Park.
“This is a clear indication that providing a higher frequency, quick and convenient bus service helps reduce car use," - Mr Norwell, Stagecoach managing director
Route G will become a dedicated service for Godinton Park and Repton Park, linking them with the town centre and Ashford International station.
Routes B and C will continue to operate much the same with buses every few minutes throughout the day, but bus times will be fine-tuned to reflect the number of passengers carried.
Stagecoach says a recent survey it commissioned found that nearly 60% of its new customers who began using the little & often service since it launched in February, previously used their cars to make the same journeys.
Mr Norwell added: “This is a clear indication that providing a higher frequency, quick and convenient bus service helps reduce car use – which in turn frees up road space and improves air quality in the town.”
For more information on the timetable and route changes visit www.stagecoachbus.com
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