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Plan to expand park and ride service

MAIDSTONE's park and ride bus service may be expanded this year. The borough council is looking at options to extend the service which was launched in 1988 and currently caters for an estimated 450,000 passengers a year, Monday to Saturday.

The service is operated by Arriva Buses but subsidised by Maidstone council. There are spaces for 1,600 cars at four sites across the town - London Road, Sittingbourne Road, Willington Street and Combe Quarry.

But the council's transport and planning policy cabinet member Cllr Malcolm Robertson (Lib Dem) believes some expansion is now needed to meet demand.

The Sittingbourne Road site is expected to be the main focus. It has 490 spaces available but is already operating at full capacity.

Cllr Robertson said: "We are looking to expand the provision of spaces at that site and are in the process of considering options. We hope to introduce any changes later this year."

Cllr Robertson confirmed that park and ride charges were likely to increase along with car park tariffs as part of the council's upcoming budget review.

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