Arriva and Kent County Council partnership delivers service improvements
Arriva has just put in service a brand-new single-deck bus on its routes between Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells as a result of partnership working between the company and Kent County Council.
Like all new buses, it is fully accessible and has a kneeling facility to lower the entrance platform if the kerb is low and also a ramp to make it easier for wheelchairs to be wheeled on and off.
With the opening of the new Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury last autumn, Arriva increased the frequency of its service running via Paddock Wood and Pembury so that there are now four buses an hour running Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells, two via Tonbridge and two via Paddock Wood and the hospital.
The improved service also introduced new links for some of the villages along the route to Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells, the hospital and Paddock Wood.
Arriva’s Managing Director, Heath Williams, said “I’m delighted that we have been able to offer an increased frequency between the two towns whilst at the same time giving a half-hourly service to the new hospital.
“With the exception of a small number of evening journeys, our Services 6, 6A and 7 between Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells are provided on a commercial basis, without financial support, and we are pleased to be able to offer, in partnership with Kent County Council, a service which we hope will be useful both to our existing customers and to those who may not have tried the bus for a while.”
Although running in standard Arriva colours, the new bus is owned by the county council as its part of the partnership, and carries prominent branding both to promote the services on which it is running and the partnership between Arriva and KCC.
Bryan Sweetland, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Waste said "I'm delighted to see that by working in partnership, KCC and Arriva have delivered a service improvement that will provide real benefits to Kent's travelling public.
"The service 6 provides an essential link between Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells and also serves the new Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury.
“Increasing the frequency of the service has not only made it more convenient for those who already use it, but has made it an attractive option for car users in the area, reducing congestion on Kent's roads and cutting carbon emissions".