Stagecoach has published the confirmed cuts and changes to bus routes in Thanet, coming into effect this Sunday (August 28).
A protest over the cuts was held outside the company’s depot in Westwood on August 16 with around 70 people turning out to voice their opposition.
A petition with 2693 signatures opposed to the changes has also been sent to Stagecoach MD Joel Mitchell.
Councillors including Ruth Bailey and Aram Rawf have written to Mr Mitchell to ask for the cuts to be reconsidered.
Beacon Road resident Jenny Matterface has led a campaign, including the launch of the petition, to show the strength of community upset.
She said: “‘I’m bitterly disappointed Stagecoach chose to ignore the 3000 residents who signed the petition, residents who will lose their lifeline, their local bus service.
“I have to wonder if anyone planning these cuts, actually visited here to talk to passengers or to look at the layout of, in part, Broadstairs and St. Peter’s, to see where people live and why they rely on public transport.”
There is local anger about the axing of Stagecoach routes 33 and 37 and the truncation of route 9.
Stagecoach say: “We’ve continued to run a full network of bus services since the pandemic. This has been possible because of a combination of government emergency funding, County Council subsidy, and the steps we’ve taken to keep services running for the community.
“Bus use in the UK has only partially recovered since the pandemic. This autumn, government emergency funding will come to an end, and bus operators, including Stagecoach, have been working with the County Council to re-base the local bus network to take account of changes in people’s travel habits and the impact of rising costs, lower passenger numbers and a national shortage of driving and engineering staff.
“In Thanet, we are able to keep these network changes to a minimum. The majority of our bus routes will continue to run and core services for the community will be protected. This will ensure we can provide a sustainable network that we hope can grow over the longer-term.”
From 28 August, 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.
Bus routes being axed
Route 11 (Plucks Gutter, Stourmouth, Preston, Ickham and Wickhambreaux) UPDATE: – Stagecoach is in discussion with Kent County Council regarding funding to continue a limited service on this route.
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.
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 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. You can view the new 9, 9X timetable here.
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. UPDATE: – Stagecoach is in discussion with Kent County Council regarding funding to continue a limited service on this route.
Route 8, 8A and 8X (Westwood, Northdown Park, Margate, Canterbury)
There will be some limited adjustment to bus times. You can view the new 8, 8A, 8X timetable here.
Route 32 (Dane Valley, Margate, Garlinge)
There will be some limited adjustment to bus times. You can view the new route 32 timetable here.
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. You can view the new route 34 timetable here.
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). You can view the new route 45 timetable here.
Loop (all round Thanet)
There will be some limited adjustment to bus times. The late Friday and Saturday night journeys will no longer operate. You can view the new LOOP timetable here.
Changes affecting school-time bus services
Hartsdown Academy, King Ethelbert School
The route 932 bus at 0825 from Margate to Minnis Bay will no longer operate. 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 Ethelbert 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 Clarendon House Grammar Schools
The 989 bus will no longer operate. Use the Loop and 8/8A service instead.