Stagecoach cuts to Thanet services and route changes

Stagecoach Thanet Loop (stock image)

Stagecoach bus company is cutting a number of its services in Thanet.

From August 28, there will be timetable changes affecting routes 8, 8A, 8X, 9, 32, 34, 45 and Loop. School-time services 932, 933, 943, 946, 948, 949 and 989 will also change.

The following bus routes will no longer be operated by Stagecoach:

Route 33 (Eastern Esplanade, Kingsgate, Grange Road, Stanley Road, East Dumpton and Colburn Road)

Route 37 (Stanley Road, Lanthorne Road/Stone Road, St. Peter’s Village and The Silvers)

From the same date, route 9 will no longer operate between Monkton and Canterbury.

MD Joel Mitchell

Joel Mitchell, Managing Director of Stagecoach South East, said: “We’ve done everything we can to protect services since the pandemic.

“We want to regenerate our customer base and bring people back to using buses as quickly as possible so we can expand our networks, but before we can do that, we’ve got to make some difficult decisions, working closely with the County Council, to agree a new network that reflects fundamental changes to people’s travel habits brought about by the pandemic. This network review is also a condition of government recovery funding for bus services across England.

“Where some services are reduced, it’s a tough decision, because we know the impact it may have on individual people, but this new network for Thanet is designed to protect core connections and operate them on a sustainable basis against a backdrop of rising costs and labour challenges across the UK economy.

“We remain absolutely committed to working with our local authority partners, as well as other stakeholders, to deliver the best bus networks we can for local communities. Looking ahead, our aim is to grow the network by encouraging more people to switch from car to bus, benefitting our economy, the health and well-being of citizens and our environment.”

Cllr Barry Lewis

Kent County Council shadow cabinet member for transport and Margate representative, Barry Lewis (Labour), said: “We cannot rely on private, profit-making companies for affordable and frequent bus services for the community.

“Other areas of the country such as Manchester, London and Cornwall, have a better system where the buses and trains work in conjunction under the control of the local authority.

“If we are ever going to get people back on the buses we need a Transport for Kent strategy where people are put before profits.”


Route 8, 8A and 8X (Westwood, Northdown Park, Margate, Canterbury)

There will be some limited adjustment to bus times. Please check back to view a new timetable in August.

Route 9 and 9X (Westwood, Broadstairs, Minster, Canterbury)

There will no longer be a daytime service to and from Canterbury. However, some peak-time route 9X journeys will continue to operate the full route. A new route 9 off-peak service will run hourly between Ramsgate and Monkton, serving Minster Road, Downs Road, Chiltern Lane, Nethercourt estate and Manna Hutte, turning at Monkton and serving Minster in the same way as the current route 11. Please check back to view a new timetable in August.

Route 11 (Westwood, Manston, Minster, Monkton, Plucks Gutter, Stourmouth, Preston, Wingham, Ickham, Wickhambreaux and Canterbury)

This service will no longer be operated by Stagecoach. Monkton and Minster will continue to be served by route 9 (see below) and Wingham will continue to be served by route 43.

Route 32 (Dane Valley, Margate, Garlinge)

There will be some limited adjustment to bus times. Please check back to view a new timetable in August.

Route 33 (Margate, Cliftonville, Kingsgate, Broadstairs, East Dumpton, Ramsgate)

This service will no longer be operated by Stagecoach. There will be no buses serving Eastern Esplanade, Grange Road, Stanley Road, East Dumpton and Colburn Road, however most other areas on this route will continue to be served by a nearby alternative bus service.

Route 34 (Minnis Bay, Birchington, Margate, QEQM (rear), Westwood, Newington, Ramsgate)

There will be some adjustment to bus times. Buses between Minnis Bay and Margate will operate every 30 minutes. Please check back to view a new timetable in August.

Route 45 (Ramsgate, Nethercourt, Cliffs End, Sandwich)

This route will be extended to serve Broadstairs, running a clockwise circuit from Gladstone Road to Pierremont Hall and Queens Road. Route 45 will no longer serve Nethercourt estate or Chiltern Lane – these will be served by route 9 (see above). Please check back to view a new timetable in August.

Loop (all round Thanet)

There will be some limited adjustment to bus times. The late Friday and Saturday night journeys will no longer operate. A new timetable will be published in August.

Changes affecting school-time bus services

Hartsdown Academy, King Etherlbert School

The route 932 bus at 0825 from Margate to Minnis Bay will no longer operate. Please use the 0823 route 932 bus from Margate which has spare capacity.

The 0801 route 932 bus from Dane Valley will also run along Maynard Avenue in order to serve Garlinge Primary School.

The 1505 route 932 bus from Hartsdown Academy to Margate will no longer operate. Please use the route 32 service as an alternative.

Royal Harbour Academy (Newlands Lane), Dane Court Grammar School

The 0728 route 933 bus from Cliftonville to Dane Court will no longer operate. Please use the Loop, 946 or 960 service instead.

Hartsdown Academy, King Etherlbert School, Dane Court Grammar School, St George’s School

The 943 bus will be rerouted to avoid reversing at St. Nicholas, The Oaks.

Royal Harbour Academy, St George’s School

The route 946 bus will be rerouted to serve St Lawrence, Newington Road, The Royal Harbour Academy, Dane Court and St George’s School to replace part of route 933.

Dane Court Grammar School, St George’s School

The 948 bus at 0740 from Cliftonville will be renumbered route 960.

The 949 bus at 0742 from St Peters Railway Bridge will be renumber route 960 and depart St. Peter’s Railway Bridge at 0732, serving Kingsgate, Northdown Park, Cliftonville, Dane Valley, Laleham Corner, Margate, St George’s School and Dane Court School.

The 948 bus at 1535 from Dane Court will no longer operate. Instead, please use the 1535 route 960 bus that will be re-routed to St. Peters, Kingsgate, Northdown Park, Cliftonville (The Wheatsheaf), Dane Valley, Warwick Road and Margate.

Ramsgate schools – Chatham House and Claredon House Grammar Schools

The 989 bus will no longer operate. Please use the Loop and 8/8A service instead.


  1. I find it strange they say lack of drivers yet haven’t replied to job applications from almost 3 weeks ago

  2. Just back from Santander, Spain, where the bus services are superb. Fast, plentiful, punctual, electronic display bus-stops, flat fare of less than 2€, mask wearing compulsory. Everyone uses them – why would you drive in a big city? And owned by the City Council.

  3. Once again, Thanet is allowed to sink further back in time. If the UK is going to get through the Climate Emergency (which very few around here seem to believe is real, btw, including our simple-minded MP), we will need more [public transport, not less.

    • Where I live the 33 and 37 buses are a lifeline for the elderly and infirm. People like the ghastly Souter couple have no regard for services, being content to sit on their profits and treat people like rubbish. Why are we paying increasing council tax when politicians do not work for ordinary people. Voters got what they voted for..Tories who care only for their fat salaries and expenses. Come election time they will do it again.

      • Well Greenfield, the Tory’s all want to cut taxes, but its taxes that pay for public services, including the NHS, Police, Fire & Rescue, Social Services, Bin men etc. So expect more cuts to public services if the Tory’s elect another Prime Minister!

        • And don’t forget the 92,000 civil servants the Tory’s are going to sack too, which means more public services will suffer, I expect they will come after my bus pass soon!

  4. Does anyone know how to contact Stagecoach to complain? What consultation was carried out? Have tried calling but there’s nobody in.

  5. As former chair of the Thanet travel form since 1996 we all worked hard with TDC stagecoach and KCC to get the best bus services in the county/ country you cannot tell me they weren’t making any money the aim is to get people on to public transport and out of cars to cut down on their usage and air pollution I believe stagecoach has been taken over by an EU company a disgrace should have been offered by other operators. TDC should now get involved and stop the cuts.

    • What a brilliant comment! What about the elderly/infirm, who purchased houses or live in accommodation on a bus route, which will no longer operate……Totally unacceptable!

    • Stagecoach is not EU owned. Typical attempt to deflect the utter failure of a UK company onto them nasty foreigners. You won Brexit, get over it.

  6. The loss of the 33 service will affect many elderly who regularly use the service via Palm Bay Estate. It is also the only service which goes anywhere near Bethesda Surgery. The alternative is to walk the length of Devonshire Gdns from Tesco Northdown Road. The reason Stagecoach are failing is they treat their drivers so appalling most have chucked it in.

    • The 8a is 2x an hr from the Palm Bay estate to Margate and Canterbury and connecting at wheatsheaf for Ramsgate, broadstairs.

      Company’s won’t run routes if it’s not making money .

    • Check who has taken the company over it’s not a British company its German owned nothing to do with brexit you need to get over it as suggested by others people can always leave the UK.

  7. Unfortunately it is down to £££££ that KCC provide in financial support. Until such times as StageCoach stop driving out the competition as they have done since inception in Scotland by the Golag Souter couple bus services in Thanet will continue to decline. pvp

  8. Stagecoach as a private company does NOT have to consult, that’s why we need a TRANSPORT for KENT organisation that will consult

  9. Kent has two almost monopolistic operators Arriva and Stagecoach. Arriva is owned by DB, the German state railway company, and Stagecoach is owned by DWS, a german infrastructure investor.
    This I assume is how we are taking back control.
    Since the buses were deregulated under the 1985 Transport act bus licencing of routes was abolished, so bus companies can open or close routes and vary services as they wish, without resort to any statutory overview.
    If Kent had a franchise system such as london or other metropolitan areas then such things would be controlled.
    I find Mr Mitchell’s protestations about growing the business and encouraging passengers back onto buses as bizarre. Please explain to me how closing routes and reducing the frequency of services, ‘encourages’ passengers to frequent bus services?
    Since the middle of the 1950’s it has been a tale of decline, retrenchment and disinvestment, with the result that bus patronage has plummeted.
    The only place where this trend was bucked to some extent is London, where fearful of a repeat of the bus wars of the 1920’s and 30’s in London, and 1980’s and 90’s everywhere else, franchising was created.
    Cutting back to so called ‘core services’ only damages the core, until it too is cut away.
    I do wonder if it is now time to form a state bus operating company like Great British Trains is for railways, and slowly but surely swallow up Stage Coach, Arriva, Go- Ahead and all the other foreign owned operators with an operator committed to maintaining a network.As it is with BSOG and the various subsidies for concessionary travel, quite a lot of the financing of the UK bus industry comes from the state, anyway.

    • This is a brilliant and full explanation. I totally agree with your observations and comments, especially regarding Mr Mitchell’s dreadful excuse for the reasons behind their decisions!

    • Ah yes, Arriva, like Vatenfals and EDF, is state-owned: but not by our state! So we leave the EU but happily let the German, Swedish and French states run our infrastructure. Something wrong somewhere.

    • I have said all the bus companies are owned by EU companies totally agree George I had comments about brexit being the fault we certainly need a better system I charged the Thanet travel forum from 1996 until the forum was no longer able to continue that’s when we all worked together TDC and KCC officers and members as said by KCC councillor for this decision it’s a private company county and district councillors have no say if KCC transport officers knew about this all Kent routes could have been brought back in house as KCC buses.

  10. This is a total scandal. KCC should cancel the contract with these cowboys and bring these vitally needed services back in house. A strange case of the stagecoach robbing everyone else!

  11. This is the result of the Tories privatisation of public services NOT ONE privatisation of any public services has been to any benefit to the public WHATSOEVER NOT ONE. Yet selfish “ Oh I do Love me”. Voters put this disgusting party in power. Johnson has made a Russian KGB man a Lord you could not believe it ( but with Johnson you can) Yet the national right wig media has tried to suppress the story because if they told it, it would not only have brought Johnson down it would bring the government down.

  12. This is awful news. The bus services are crucial for so many people. There’s low car ownership in Thanet. I wonder if there’ll be job losses?

    • Be interested if you’ve got data on car ownership Carly.
      Roads are clogged. Many houses with 2,3,4 cars.
      Happy to be proved wrong if you’ve got the data.

      • Seaside lover totally agree with you everybody complained about the filming of the Sam Mendez movie bring filmed around the seafront everyone in a car uses that road and clogs up all roads in the district we all know it’s coming up for TDC elections next year we are going to read this kind of rubbish.

      • I would agree.
        But unlike London, Thanet is not particularly cycle friendly.
        In London, there are numbers of “Cycle Super Highways” radiating out from the centre to the suburbs, providing convenient and (relatively) safe routes for cyclists.
        In Thanet, by contrast, there are hardly any “joined up” routes around the Island. Even designated Sustrans routes are often little more than a battered old sign post, pointing along a busy road with numerous intersections, at each one of which the cyclist is instructed to “Dismount”.

        • Apart from Westwood Chaos, cycling in Thanet is very good indeed. It is possible to get to and from most places using a combination of quieter roads, cycle paths and sea walls. It’s also possible to go much further afield – i.e., Ramsgate to Dover, or Margate to Faversham – via safe routes. Of course, it is also both slower and tougher than jumping in a car…

          • I totally agree with your reply Peter, but how can we get the ” local” shops back to the villages, when their business taxes are so high and the big supermarkets can buy the items so much cheaper. Yes it is a problem indeed, something the parties who wish to govern might like to address, although I think that will be one of their lower priorities.

          • Yes. I’ve often cycled to Deal, Reculver or the Viking Trail.
            Compared with London’s Cycle Super Highway, these are a hotch-potch of on road, off road, give way, dismount bits and pieces. It could be so much better.

      • Petet, the only problem I have is how can the old and people who have mobility problems travel to get their weekly shipping, especially if they have no trusted friends or family to help them. The “local” shops are not the answer.So a good, and trusted bus service seems to be the only answer,

          • I agree Paul, though it could also be argued that peoples’ reliance on cars has forced the closure of many shops in villages and small towns (fortunately I live in Birchington, where pretty much everything apart from clothing can still be bought locally!).

    • Stagecoach was a publically owned company until recently and you could have bought shares yourself. It has now been bought by a German firm DWS. So Robster a bit behind with your facts.

  13. It’s a case of use it or lose it.
    The vast majority of people would rather own and drive a private motor car than use public transport.
    This current reduction in services was inevitable. I’ve seen many, many buses with one or two people on board (sometimes just the driver).
    A solution which ticks several boxes is to tax private motorists for the privilege of cluttering up our roads and polluting the environment, and use those levies to subsidise public transport.
    Currently, Thanet’s fare-paying passengers are supporting cheap and plentiful travel in Germany.

    • Andrew, I agree with your final point.
      Your first point however is debatable, as the bus service is far from reliable, plus the 37 route which I would use, is frequently suspended! The public will not use a service that they cannot rely on, especially someone who is disabled and is left ‘in limbo’ if the bus doesn’t arrive!
      With regard to taxing private motorists, who ‘clutter the road’…….I do pay a RFL tax for the ‘privilige’ of using the road, plus the fuel I use is taxed!

      • No one has paid Road Tax since 1937.
        People use their cars because they perceive it to be convenient. But because of the vast numbers of private cars on our roads, our towns and countryside are a mess, as planners struggle to accommodate all these vehicles.
        We should, for environmental reasons, be using our cars as little as possible. But we don’t. Instead of using the bus, we choose to drive our cars. So, the buses are more and more empty. And no one is going to run empty buses around.
        So, those who can’t drive (youngsters, the elderly, disabled) or won’t drive for environmental reasons, suffer.
        So, motorists, who enjoy the privilege, should pay over the odds to support and compensate people who use public transport.
        A bus holds 90 people. Imagine how much road space 45 cars takes. It makes good sense, on all sorts of levels, to move away from polluting private cars to environmentally sound public transport.

  14. The Loop, contrary to what’s stated in the article, does not cover all of Thanet. It only covers South Thanet. It does not go beyond Cecil Square. There is not, and never has been, any Loop service in the North Thanet areas of Westgate-on-Sea and Birchington-on-Sea.

    • The nearest to a REAL Thanet loop was the old coastal route from Minnis Bay to Ramsgate (these days it’s impossible to even get a direct bus from Birchington/Westgate to Broadstairs).

    • Extending the Loop would make sense. The busier bits if the route would subsidise the leaner bits.

    • There are 34s and 8 /8a that’s a bus to Birchington, westgate , Canterbury every 15-20mins . From Margate it’s east to change buses at Cecil Square .

      The services being cut are because they are not viable it’s use it or lose it approach and buses on these routes are persistent empty buses which cost money to run but make no revenue .

    • When the loop buses were conceived it was designed to connect all three main Thanet towns one journey in both directions so people did not have to get on three different buses they starting from Margate cliftonville Broadstairs and on to Ramsgate continuing to Westwood cross QEQM hospital and back to Margate Cecil this route was very profitable for stagecoach until COVID not defending the bus company but COVID caused loads of financial losses for all bus operators throughout the UK.

  15. Unfortunately it is not only here that we have such problems. My brother lives in a village of about 2,000 in Northamptonshire and the two bus routes serving the village were both stopped in April. There is no GP surgery in the village so now anyone without a car has to rely on kindness of family / neighbours to take them to GP in next village or they have to get a taxi. It is also a huge problem for those who relied on the bus service to get to and from work. And I have read that this is becoming quite common in many rural communities.

    As for here in Thanet, I think they should cut frequency of Loop buses or like the number 8 service, have two slightly different routes. Loop A (for example) could then go down Northumberland Avenue, stop near Bethesda, then go up Devonshire Gardens to rejoin Northdown Road. Both roads are wide enough for the bus and it then provides an essential service to the thousands of Bethesda patients. But I guess that is too sensible an idea and easy a solution for anyone at Stagecoach to work out!

    • We had a campaign in my area too save the final meeting our MP Craig McKinley promised he would save our buses…all talk like all politicians

  16. Minnis Bay has no public transport on Sundays at all. Why can’t some No. 8s or Loops serve the bay?

  17. Isn’t stagecoach the same people who bought manston for a £. Where’s our local MP doesn’t he have anything to say about this.

    • No. Stagecoach didn’t buy Manston (and all its debt) for £1.
      What do you expect our MP to do about it? They are Tories, and here is a fine example of commercial enterprise.

  18. It only means one thing… people will be using their cars more often …
    Climate change due to car fumes? What climate change!!!
    During the pandemic buses were very reliable, what changed now that there’s no pandemic Stagecoach?? 🤔

      • Higher taxes for vehicles = higher prices in the shops. Are you happy to pay more for food and essentials. ? In Thanet there are a lot of people struggling now. What to you say to them ??

        • It’s not the delivery trucks that are the big problem. It’s the 35,000,000 private cars on the roads.
          And if food was produced locally, it wouldn’t have to be freighted 100s of miles.

          • Can you then please explain to the government and local council, that we can’t build houses for the ever increasing population because we need to grow food locally. So they need to bring in population control, which would mean less money for the limited essential public services we get now, unless there is a higher rate of tax.

        • Duty on fuel.
          The bigger the engine, the more miles you drive, the more you pollute, the more you pay.
          Similar for EVs

      • |, for one, would like to see most private cars off the roads. i am old enough to remember how safe the streets were before they were stuffed full of cars.

      • “I take it you want to drive the private motor vehicle off the road completely?”
        Just most of them.
        And their drivers should certainly pay for the privilege.
        At the moment, roads are built and maintained mostly from central taxation. We all pay for roads, whether we use them or not. Unlike rail, where increasingly the cost of this (socially useful) infrastructure is carried by the passengers.
        What’s sauce for the goose …

  19. Surely cant be totally about profits look at what ann gloag made over manston paid peanuts got millions back. Its all about what she can make dont think the average person gets a say in it. Others areas that are run by counsels or county wide manage. Al, the pu luc wantbux s goid reliable service

    • Anne Gloag paid £1 for a loss making airport and its substantial debts. Anyone could have bought it, even RSP.
      Which, indeed, they eventually did, for about £15M. Since then, RSP has made £8M by allowing trucks to park there during operation Brock.
      I wonder how many bus journeys could be supported with £8M?

  20. Like many of these services that are being axed they are a lifeline for many people who don’t have cars. I live in Dumpton, and many of our older and deserving generation plus Deers Park residents rely on the no. 33. It’s not acceptable to put profit ahead of those that that need such a vital service. Stagecoach will have their Karma

  21. So now we have a bus stop in Preston village for decoration? We are in the middle of the countryside with no Dr’s surgery and a walk to Wingham is 45 mins to an hour. This bus was the villagers lifeline. Will there be a replacement service with another company?

  22. Better, more reliable public transport would mean I would be happy to leave my car at home but it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. If I can’t rely on a bus getting me somewhere on time I will use my car. I know we are talking about buses here but the trains are nearly as bad. To get to Dumpton I have to get off at Ramsgate, wait something like 29 minutes for a train to Broadstairs then wait 5 minutes for a train to Dumpton. Thus is why people use their cars! As someone previously said why can’t some of the bus routes be changed or extended?

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