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Kings Ferry commuter coach service 774 changes route and won't stop at Holborough Lakes


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A commuter coach will no longer stop at a large housing development, a decision which been branded “completely unfair”.

Residents at Holborough Lakes face a steep rise in travel costs after Kings Ferry announced its 774 route is changing.

King Ferry will no longer stop at Holborough Lakes Picture: Steve Crispe
King Ferry will no longer stop at Holborough Lakes Picture: Steve Crispe

Commuters say they were only given a week's notice of the move, which came into place on Monday.

They have questioned the decision, given that so many are now returning to the office.

Other areas cut from the service, which has been operating its current timetable since February, include Snodland, Aylesford, Ditton, Larkfield and Leybourne.

Kings Ferry is part of national express Transport Solutions, which operates coach services UK-wide.

Nadine Hay, who lives in Holborough Lakes, has been using the service for five years, even before Kings Ferry took it on and started commuting into London again at the beginning of September.

Nadine Hay has been using the service for five years
Nadine Hay has been using the service for five years

The 38-year-old, who works for an investment bank, said: “Before the pandemic it was so popular.

“It was so convenient because it went on to the development and it was just a short walk.

“If I got the train I would walk by the cemetery and through an alleyway.

“We moved from south east London so the links to get to work were one of the main things to look at, the coach ticked all of the boxes.

“It just seems a strange decision to do it now rather than waiting until the end of the year to see what the numbers (on the coach) are like.”

The bus stop at Holborough Lakes
The bus stop at Holborough Lakes

The coach fare costs her about £270, compared to about £500 a month on the high-speed train; if she was to get the slow train, it would cost £390.

She said: “I think the main issue for me is the safety concern, walking to the station in the dark mornings and walking along that alleyway.”

PA Andrea Bullman has used the service for about 20 months from Holborough Lakes and will return to the city full time from next week.

She will now have to get three trains to reach her office on time, rather than one coach.

She said: “It’s completely unfair, apart from anything else, the government is trying to get us to go back to work.

“Just to give a week’s notice doesn’t seem very customer friendly.”

Andrea Bullman is unhappy about Kings Ferry's decision to cut Holborough Lakes from its commuter service
Andrea Bullman is unhappy about Kings Ferry's decision to cut Holborough Lakes from its commuter service

In a statement on their website, National Express Transport Solutions says that “following customer feedback and an increase in demand, we are making some changes to our commuter services.”

These changes include extra services on Isle of Sheppey and Rainham routes.

The 774, which included Holborough Lakes, has been amended to start from Grove Green in Maidstone.

The statement added: “The pre-Covid route from Allington to London will also be reinstated to provide quicker journey times.

In returning 774 to its original route coaches will be unable to serve bus stops in Aylesford, Leybourne, Snodland and Wouldham.

Tickets will continue to be accepted on board from the park and ride services from Blue Bell Hill and Cyclopark.

A spokesman for Kings Ferry said: "The travel industry and commuter services were heavily impacted by the pandemic and are not yet back to pre-Covid levels. We are working hard to rebuild our services as quickly as possible in line with demand.

"The 774 service to London has reverted back to its pre-lockdown route, via Allington, the M20 and the M25. This decision was made based on passenger figures and customer feedback, which we are continually monitoring.

"We appreciate some people will be disappointed by these changes. We will regularly review options to reinstate services and stops."

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