Eight Thanet bus route stops look likely to be lost with the proposed axing of the 42/42A, 56 and 39/39A services.
A consultation has been launched today (November 22) on changes to subsidised funding from Kent County Council for the three services.
The withdrawn routes will be replaced with new services and changes to existing commercial services along most sections, says Kent County Council.
- Nixon Avenue will no longer be served. Passengers can access LOOP services on Margate Road or service 34 on Allenby Road.
- Newington Road (between Margate Road and Bush Avenue) will no longer be served. Passengers can access service 34 in Bush Avenue/Stirling Way or the LOOP on Margate Road.
- Northwood Road (between The Silvers and A256) will no longer be served. Passengers can access service 9 from The Silvers or service 34 on A256.
- Dumpton Sherwood Gardens direct links to Westwood Cross are lost however LOOP services are available along Ramsgate Road and the replacement service 48 connects to the LOOP on Ramsgate Road and at Ramsgate Station.
- Cliffsend will no longer receive a direct service through the centre of the village. Service 9 can be accessed on Canterbury Road West (10-minute walk) and service 43 on Sandwich Road (5-minute walk).
- East Kent Retail Park will no longer be served directly but can be accessed from Westwood Cross Bus Hub.
- College Road between the College Road roundabout and Milmead Road will not be served. Passengers can access service 34 and new service 37 on the A255 St Peters Road or service 32 on Milmead Road.
- Devonshire Gardens will no longer be served. Passengers can access service 8 and LOOP on Northdown Road or revised service 38 on Eastern Esplanade.
New buses and diversions
For the 39/39A service, people will be able to use the Stagecoach LOOP and service 34.
A new service 48 would be introduced serving Sherwood Gardens and Dumpton.
Service 9 would be diverted via Monkton and Minster providing hourly services to Ramsgate and Broadstairs as well as services to Canterbury in the opposite direction in place of the existing 42/42A service.
Stagecoach service 11 will continue to provide a service from Monkton and Minister to Westwood Cross.
Cliffsend would have access to service 34 on the Sandwich Road and service 34 would also serve the Nethercourt Estate.
Kent County Council says minor adjustments to the commercial network and other subsidised services are planned to mitigate withdrawal of the 56 service. A new 37 service would replace the majority of the route and provide a service from Broadstairs via St Peters, Westwood Cross and QEQM to Margate.
KCC cabinet member for transport Mike Whiting said: “These proposed changes take advantage of the fact that much of the routes concerned are already covered by commercial bus services.
“We have worked closely with Stagecoach to develop ideas that enable us to save money whilst limiting the amount of major impacts on bus users.”
Margate county councillor Barry :Lewis said: “It is disgusting that this consultation is being held before Christmas just to push it through for the next budget.”
Fellow county councillor Karen Constantine added: “What a daft example of both wasting taxpayers money and failing to use joined up thinking. I’m certain that all of Thanet’s Kent County Councillors will oppose this harmful reduction in much needed transport. I will be vehemently opposing this on behalf of the Thanet residents who depend on these buses.
“KCC appointed a select committee on Loneliness and Social Isolation in July of this year. The committee has looked at the current services available and is actively identifying initiatives and strategies to prevent or reduce the impact of loneliness and social isolation on residents Kent wide. Removing transport will most certainly cause harm and exacerbate the problem.
“It is estimated that there are 29,000 people in Kent who are Lonely or socially isolated. They are likely to be older, female, in poorer health and living in more deprived areas. It is know that loneliness and social isolation cause significant illness and heralds premature death.
“KCC and Thanet council need to do all they can to prevent this. Cutting bus service flies in the face of the evidence. People need transport to stay active and healthy.”
Last November Kent County Councillors at an Environment and Transport Cabinet meeting agreed to launch a consultation on plans to cut subsidies for some bus services in Kent. KCC had planned to cut funding for Socially Necessary Bus Services (SNBS) in a bid to save £4million.
The authority said it needed to make the 70% reduction in its SNBS budget between 2018-2020.
But in March KCC said the reductions had been massively scaled back to £455,000 in this financial year following talks with bus companies.
The authority said that following discussions with bus companies Stagecoach and Go Coach, proposals were to move a small number of services from public subsidy to commercially-operated routes.
The consultation will run for four weeks from today (November 22) until December 19 with changes coming into effect in April if agreed.
Full details of the proposals, route maps and timetables showing proposed changes, details of the consultation drop-in events and questionnaire are available at kent.gov.uk/thanetbusconsultation
Consultation drop-in events:
November 29, 1pm to 3pm at St Peter’s Church Hall, Broadstairs, CT10 2TR
December 3, 2.15pm to 4.15pm at Minster Neighbourhood Centre, Ramsgate, CT12 4EA
Find the consultation online at https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/consult.ti/thanetconsultation/consultationHome