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The opening of Sittingbourne's new bus 'hub' delayed again

The opening of a new bus ‘hub’ in Sittingbourne has been delayed once again.

Designed to be a central pick-up and drop-off point, the area behind The Forum has been developed as part of the Spirit of Sittingbourne £57 million regeneration of the town.

The opening of Sittingbourne's new bus 'hub' has been delayed again
The opening of Sittingbourne's new bus 'hub' has been delayed again

It was to open on October 14 but that was postponed at the last minute due to “complications” including the weather that meant the work wasn’t completed on time.

It was then planned to open on November 4 but bus operators refused to use it, raising concerns about safety, specifically a lack of signs or barriers to minimise the risk of people getting hit by a bus.

Now an agreement between Spirit and bus firms has been reached and the opening has been pushed back until later this month.

A Spirit spokesman said the changes were “yet to be finalised” but concerned “signage being made to ensure the area is as successful as possible”.

He added: “Following discussions with bus operators, we have taken the decision to postpone the opening of the bus area until later in the month.

Roland Eglinton, managing director of Chalkwell Coach Hire
Roland Eglinton, managing director of Chalkwell Coach Hire

“While we appreciate the delay may be disappointing to some residents, the decision was taken to ensure the bus area opens without issues. We will be communicating the final opening date as soon as we have it finalised in the coming weeks.”

Roland Eglinton, managing director of Chalkwell Coach Hire, said he was pleased discussions with Spirit had been productive.

He added: “Our customers will have access to a facility that greatly improves on what was previously in place with the old Forum stop and puts bus travel at the heart of the town centre regeneration.”

Oliver Monahan, area managing director at Arriva, added: “We are happy to have reached an agreement on resolving the issues. The bus area will improve the access to public transport for our customers and we will be working with Spirit to ensure it opens soon.”

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