Changes to bus routes subsidised by Kent County Council will come into effect on April 7.
The changes were agreed to save the authority some £360,000.
Most bus routes in Thanet are operated by Stagecoach on a commercial basis without any funding from the council. But KCC has funded the operation of some services which, while not commercially viable, have been considered important to the local community.
At the end of last year KCC launched a consultation on proposals to withdraw funding for some of the council supported bus routes in the area. Stagecoach was asked if it could make changes to its existing bus network to help with routes in areas affected by the loss of council funded services.
The decision affects services including the 42/42A, 56 and 39/39A. The withdrawn routes will be replaced with new services and changes to existing commercial services along most sections, says Kent County Council.
Stagecoach Commercial Director, Matthew Arnold said “Any loss of public investment in bus services is disappointing but we recognise that KCC needed to make these budget savings. We’ve got a busy network of well established services in Thanet which means we’ve been able to look at the feedback from KCC’s public consultation and make adjustments so that buses can keep flowing to those parts of the community that would otherwise have lost out.”
Ward councillor Jenny Matterface, who campaigned against the service cuts, said: “Beacon Road area residents who use the 33 that was a poor replacement for the 8A now only have one bus an hour that has merged with the 38 with a gap mid-afternoon.
“The 56 replacement is as limiting as we expected but the main issue for us who rely on buses much of the time find the reduction to one bus a very poor service that will mean many will be unable to get out and about as much as they would like especially the elderly, the disabled and those on a limited income.”
Route changes and links to the new timetables:
Routes 8, 8A, 8X ‘Breeze’
Some Monday to Saturday morning bus times will be adjusted. Sunday and Bank Holiday bus times remain unchanged.
view the new ‘Breeze’ 8 8A 8X timetable here
Route 9 & 9X
Some bus times will change. All route 9 buses will serve Minster and Monkton. They will also serve the Tesco Extra on the way out towards Broadstairs. Peak-time route 9X buses will continue to run a direct service to and from Canterbury (not serving Minster or Monkton). There will be a new evening route 9X bus from Canterbury to Ramsgate at 1910.
view the new route 9/9X timetable here
There’ll be some adjustments to bus times
There are some minor changes to bus times. The school day morning bus between Margate and Garlinge will be replaced with a new route 932 journey
view the new route 32 timetable here
This route will be altered and extended to cover sections that are currently served by KCC route 38 in the east of Thanet.
Route 33 will continue to run an hourly daytime service through Margate, Kingsgate and Broadstairs but will be rerouted to include Eastern Esplanade, Palm Bay Avenue and Northdown Park. After Broadstairs the route will extend to serve East Dumpton and Ramsgate Harbour.
view the new route 33 timetable here
This route will remain unchanged (except that in Minnis Bay buses will run along Dane Road instead of Arthur Road). Most bus times will be different.
view the new route 34 timetable here
This is a new bus route that will replace most sections that are covered by the existing KCC route 56.
New route 37 will run during the daytime on Mondays to Saturdays, serving Stanley Road and Lanthorne Road, Broadstairs, St Peter’s Surgery, Rumfields, Westwood Cross, Asda (Westwood Road) and then St Peter’s Road to and from Margate.
view the new route 37 timetable here
Route 38 & 38A
These KCC routes will be replaced by route 33 in east Thanet and by new route 48 in west Thanet (between Birchington and Ramsgate).
This route will be replaced by nearby alternative options on existing Stagecoach bus routes. A new route 48 will replace the service in Sherwood Gardens and Dumpton, offering a Monday to Saturday daytime link to Ramsgate.
This morning and evening service will no longer operate.
Routes 42 & 42A
KCC route 42 will be replaced by route 9 in Monkton and Minster and new route 45 in Ramsgate and the Nethercourt Estate. Cliffsend will have access to the new 45 service on Sandwich Road.
Route 42A will no longer operate, but new arrangements will be available using school-time routes 943 for Minster and Monkton and routes 942 and 944 for Cliffsend.
This route will no longer extend into Thanet. Buses will run between Sandwich and Canterbury with one bus an hour extending to Discovery Park. A new route 45 will operate between Ramsgate and Sandwich via Discovery Park. Some Monday to Saturday bus times will change. Sunday and Bank Holiday bus times will remain the same.
view the new route 43 timetable here
Route 45 & 45A
This new route will replace the existing 43 service between Ramsgate and Sandwich. It also replaces the existing KCC route 42 service in Ramsgate and the Nethercourt Estate.
Route 45/45A will run hourly throughout the day on Mondays to Saturdays.
view the new route 45/45A timetable here
Route 48 & 48A
This new route will replace the existing KCC route 38 and 38A in the west of Thanet (Birchington, Acol, Manston, St Lawrence and Ramsgate). It will also extend to Dumpton replacing the existing KCC route 39 in that area.
The existing route 38A journeys will be renumbered 48A (some bus times will change slightly).
view the new route 48/48A timetable here
This KCC bus route will be largely replaced by a new route 37. Route 37 will run during the daytime on Mondays to Saturdays, serving Stanley Road and Lanthorne Road, Broadstairs, St Peter’s Surgery, Rumfields, Westwood Cross, Asda (Westwood Road) and then St Peter’s Road to and from Margate.
Some bus times will be adjusted to help improve the reliability of the service.
view the new Loop timetable here
Printed timetable leaflets will be available on buses and from local outlets by 30 March.
School-time bus services
From the 23 April, after the Easter holiday when the schools go back, there will be some changes to school-time bus routes and timetables.
• An extra route 932 bus will operate from Margate to Minnis Bay via Hartsdown Academy in the morning.
• The existing morning and afternoon journeys will be retimed to better suit the start and finish times at King Ethelbert School and Ursuline College.
• The morning bus from Kingsgate through Broadstairs, Ramsgate and Newington to Dane Court School will be retimed slightly to improve punctuality.
• The 1438 bus from St George’s School to Newington, Ramsgate and Dumpton will be slightly retimed to improve timekeeping.
• The afternoon bus from Charles Dickens School to Newington and Ramsgate will no longer operate. An alternative bus is available on route 34 from Westwood Road at 1531.
• The morning journey that starts from Cliffsend at 0710 will begin 9 minutes earlier at 0701 and run several minutes earlier through Minster, Acol, Birchington, Minnis Bay, Westgate, Garlinge, Margate to arrive more punctually at Dane Court and St George’s Schools.
• The morning journey from Minster will depart 14 minutes earlier at 0716 and run several minutes earlier through Monkton, St Nicholas, Birchington, Westgate and Hartsdown College in order to arrive more punctually at Dane Court and St George’s Schools.
• This morning bus will be replaced by a route 8X bus from Birchington Square at 0737 running direct to Margate and then Dane Court and St George’s Schools.
• The morning route 948 short journey from Margate to St George’s School will no longer operate. An alternative service is provided using the new 8X bus from Margate Council Offices at 0756.
• The morning bus from The Wheatsheaf towards Margate will depart 9 minutes earlier at 0740. This is so the bus can arrive more punctually at Dane Court and St George’s Schools.
• The morning bus from Minnis Bay will depart 8 minutes earlier at 0709 and run a few minutes earlier through Birchington and Westgate to Margate.