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Arriva facing fines for being late

by Alan Watkins

Bus firm Arriva is facing fines after being hauled before traffic commissioners for unreliability.

The firm blamed the traffic situation in parts of Medway and said indiscriminate parking at Medway Maritime Hospital had been another problem.

It expects to hear the decision of traffic commissioner Philip Brown within four weeks.

Kevin Hawkins, commercial director of Arriva Southern Counties, said: “We have been running late. And it is unacceptable.”

The company has to be no more than one minute early or five minutes late on 19 out of every 20 journeys to satisfy the commissioner.

But inspectors checked six routes around Medway operated by Arriva earlier this year.

They found its buses were late on 13 per cent of all journeys.

At the traffic commissioners’ court in Eastbourne, Arriva staff produced evidence which showed there were two major problems that had affected their services at the time of the checks.

These were parking which disrupted traffic around Medway Maritime Hospital, and unlimited cars and lorries on the Sir John Hawkins flyover after they were reintroduced before its summer demolition.

Officials at Medway Maritime Hospital confirmed there had been “continual complaints” about parking within the site.

Arriva has also been found to be operating some of its journeys earlier than the published timetable.

Mr Hawkins said the company would be taking action to sort the problem.
The council is warning that there is likely to be further disruption to traffic flows in central Chatham as the infrastructure is updated during the recession.

Since the summer, the hospital has begun fining drivers who ignore parking signs. The fee is £60, reducing to £30 if paid within 14 days.

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