Home   Kent   News   Article

Kent County Council meeting to consider funding cuts to bus services

By Paul Francis

County transport chiefs have played down fears that vital community bus services will disappear completely as part of swingeing budget cuts.

It follows confusion over a list published by the council detailing more than 70 bus routes that the council subsidises because they are not commercially viable but were under threat because the council needed to save £4 million.

Cllr Matthew Balfour, KCC cabinet member for highways, said: “A report will be going to Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee on Thursday with a proposal for members of the committee to discuss going out to consultation.

Scroll down for audio and video

School buses could be among those cut

School buses could be among those cut

“The contracts under discussion could be support for the whole service, some evening journeys, weekend journeys, diversions off of the route or specific journeys.

“At present it is proposed to reduce the budget for Socially Necessary Bus Services (SNBS) by £4 million over the coming two years at a time when budgets are extremely tight.

“If agreed by members, a decision will then be made as to whether to proceed with the proposals and put them out to consultation in January.

"We recognise the significant importance of these bus contracts affected by the proposals which account for 1.6 million journeys.

"The proposal has identified bus contracts, supported by KCC, which, subject to consultation, could be withdrawn – it does not necessarily mean the whole service will go.

The routes in full

SERVICEROUTEDAYSAV SUBSIDY PER PASSENGER
292, 299 Hawkhurst - Tenterden F £18.09
277 Pembury - Pembury Hospital & Greggs Wood M-F £17.68
266 Kilndown - Maidstone Tu £14.22
332 Sittingbourne-Yelstead Stockbury-Sittingbourne SDO £13.64
24 Sandhurst - Maidstone Tu £13.12
634 Greenhill - Reculver / Bishopstone Th £12.63
293 Tunbridge Wells - Tenterden - Rye Th £11.19
255 Benenden - Tunbridge Wells W/F/S £10.41
541/542/544 Deal - Dover - Sandwich & Canterbury M-S £10.01
6 / 645 Reculver - Greenhill SDO £7.64
232, 234, 238, 632 Chiddingstone, Edenbridge, Hever & Penshurst M-S £7.48
5 (Evenings) Maidstone - Hawkhurst/Sandhurst M-S £5.11
401 Westerham - Tonbridge Su £4.72
423, 489 (Evenings) New Ash Green - Dartford / Gravesend M-S £3.47
13, 59 Maidstone, Grafty Green,Hollingbourne/Leeds, Stile Bridge, Hunton, Marden S £4.45
234 Edenbridge Ridgeway - Cross Key Schools M-F £6.91
59 Maidstone - Grafty Green M-F £6.35
WS3 Ashford - Wye Free School SDO £6.10
235 Penshurst - Hildenborough Station M-F £5.91
662, 664, 666 Norton-Lynsted-Faversham-Sheldwich SDO £5.43
111 Ashford - Folkestone Th £5.25
431 Orpington - Sevenoaks M-F £4.90
222 Wrotham -Tonbridge M-S £4.88
367 Sheerness - Warden Point M-S £4.85
123 Ashford - Biddenden M-F £4.66
404, 405 Edenbridge - Shipbourne, Plaxtol,Sevenoaks & West Kingsdown M-F £4.52
70 Borough Green - Lunsford Park M-F £4.45
296 Tunbridge Wells - Paddock Wood M/Th/S £4.31
88 Maidstone - Kings Hill M-F £3.84
58 Addington - Trottiscliffe - Ryarsh - West Malling - Maidstone M-S £3.62
286 Hartfield - Speldhurst - Tunbridge Wells SDO £3.60
HS1 Ashford - Homewood SDO £3.50
638 Faversham - Whitstable M-S £3.41
203 Paddock Wood - Benover W £3.37
61, 63 Whitfield - Aydliffe M-S £3.21
60, 61, 61A Aycliffe - Whitfield - Dover - Whitfield M-S £2.88
151 Chatham Maritime-Kings Hill/Lunsford Park Su £2.80
5 Canterbury - Seasalter Su £2.69
433 New Ash Green - Dartford/Gravesend Su £2.66
6 East Peckham - Tunbridge Wells Su £2.59
474, 475 Bluewater - Hartley M-S £2.57
13 Maidstone - Langley -Leeds - Hollingbourne - Bearsted M-F £2.51
553 Brookland - Rye SDO £2.46
267/268 Hawkhurst - Tunbridge Wells/Tonbridge SD0 £2.45
18A Ashford - Canterbury SDO £2.41
8, 9, 9A, 343, 344, 345 The Meads-Rodmersham /Bredgar - Newnham M-S £2.33
10X Maidstone - Ashford - William Harvey Hospital M-S £2.28
282, 283, 285 Tunbridge Wells - Hawkenbury/Ravenswood M-S £2.28
667 Canterbury - Charing M-S £2.24
237 Chiddingstone - Tunbridge Wells War Memorial SDO £2.22
293/294 Tenterden - Rolvenden Layne, Tenterden - Appledore M, F £2.22
60, 61, 61A Aycliffe - Whitfield - Dover - Whitfield Su £2.20
17 (Evenings) Canterbury - Folkestone M-S £2.13
10X Maidstone - Ashford - William Harvey Hospital Su £2.11
2A Ashford - Tenterden M-S £2.09
C-Line Ashford - Towers View / Tritton Fields M-S £2.00
42, 42A Monkton - Ramsgate M-S £1.95
B-Line Ashford - Park Farm M-S £1.95
326, 327 Sittingbourne - Medway Hospital M-S £1.92
435 Sevenoaks - Weald - Tonbridge M-F £1.87

  

“Supporting SNBS – which make up 3% of Kent’s buses - is a discretionary activity by the county council - there is no statutory requirement to provide the funds for these bus services to run.

Matthew Balfour, KCC cabinet member for environment and transport

Matthew Balfour, KCC cabinet member for environment and transport

“We would encourage anyone affected by these proposals to take part, if agreed on Thursday, in the consultation to ensure your views are known before a final decision is made later next year."

It is understood that while the authority might end its subsidy for certain parts of services, operators may well continue to run them during times that they are likely to be commercially viable.

A report on the cost-cutting measures says KCC will save £2m next year and £2m the year after.

For a full list of services affected click here

Join the debate...
Comments |

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More