Regent Coaches to take on Thanet route axed by Stagecoach

Regent offers services in Kent (Photo Regent Coaches)

A Thanet bus route that was axed by Stagecoach at the end of August will now be combined with an existing service run by Regent Coaches.

The Stagecoach 37 operated a service from Broadstairs to Westwood Cross and Margate but was one of the routes shelved by Stagecoach in a bid to cut costs. Regent Coaches will now take in on in a combined service with the 35 route.

A protest over the cuts, particularly routes 33, 37 and the truncation of route 9, was held outside the company’s depot in Westwood in August with around 70 people turning out to voice their opposition.

A petition with 2693 signatures opposed to the changes was also sent to Stagecoach MD Joel Mitchell.

District and town councillors including Ruth Bailey and Aram Rawf wrote to Mr Mitchell to ask for the cuts to be reconsidered while County and town councillor Ros Binks worked with the transport team at KCC and Regent Coaches to see if a solution could be found for at least one Broadstairs service.

Beacon Road resident Jenny Matterface led a campaign, including the launch of the petition, to show the strength of community upset.

Combined service

Sam Regent, from Regent Coaches, says a service combining the 35 and 37 routes will now start in December.

He said: “Due to the hard work of the transport team at KCC they have combined our 35 service with the 37 to create the 35/37 service.

“This has meant altering the timetable of the 35 service from an hourly service to a 2 hourly service but has meant that now the people of Broadstairs will have a service again.”

The 35/37, earmarked for a December 5 start, will go from Broadstairs and St Peter’s to Westwood and on to Margate, Westbrook and Westgate.

Residents who have been feeling isolated since the route was axed at the end of August will now be able to get into town, get to their GP and shop without having to use a taxi or rely on friends.

Protesters including Jenny Matterface (centre) Photo Jack Packman

Jenny Matterface who co-ordinated the bus cuts campaign, said “I’m delighted to hear that the route has been reinstated and trust it will be well supported. Hopefully the 33 might at some point be revived as many have felt cut off without their vital link.”

Cllr Binks

Cllr Binks said: “I’m delighted residents in Broadstairs will once again have a bus route that takes them to all the essentials – hospital, surgeries, station and library as well as the town centre and Westwood Cross.

“They don’t always get much praise, but I would like to give a massive shout-out to Kent County Council’s Public Transport Planners. They came up with a solution and persuaded Regent to go for it.”

Stagecoach said the cuts had been necessary due to a combination of factors, including the end of government emergency covid funding, lower passenger numbers and a national shortage of driving and engineering staff.

Regent Coaches is a family run business based in Whitstable which has been established since 1970.

Proposed Service 35/37
Broadstairs, adj Lindenthorpe Road10:0012:0015:0017:00
Broadstairs, adj Pierremont Hall10:1012:1015:1017:10
St Peter’s, adj Surgery10:1512:1515:1517:15
Broadstairs, adj Fairfield Park10:1712:1715:1717:17
Rumfields, opp The Hawthorns10:2012:2015:2017:20
Westwood, adj Bus Garage10:2612:2615:2617:26
Westwood Cross Shopping Centre (Stop A)10:2812:2815:2817:28
St Peter’s, opp Asda10:3312:3315:3317:33
Margate, adj QEQM Hospital St Peters Road Wing10:3712:3715:3717:37
Margate Cecil Square (Stop H)10:4312:4315:4317:43
Westbrook, adj Bridge Road 10:4812:4815:4817:48
Westgate-on-Sea, adj Railway Station 10:5112:5115:5117:51
Westgate-on-Sea, opp Mountfield Way 10:5712:5715:5717:57

 

Westgate-on-Sea, opp Mountfield Way09:0011:0014:0016:00
Westgate-on-Sea, adj Carlton Cinema09:0611:0614:0616:06
Westbrook, opp Bridge Road09:0911:0914:0916:09
Margate Cecil Square (Stop E)09:1511:1514:1516:15
Margate, opp QEQM Hospital St Peters Road Wing09:1911:1914:1916:19
St Peter’s, adj Asda09:2411:2414:2416:24
Westwood Cross Shopping Centre (Stop A)09:2911:2914:2916:29
Westwood, opp Bus Garage09:3111:3114:3116:31
Northwood, adj Marrose Avenue09:3811:3814:3816:38
Rumfields, opp Holly Close09:4111:4114:4116:41
Broadstairs, opp Fairfield Park09:4311:4314:4316:43
St Peter’s, adj Surgery09:4811:4814:4816:48
Broadstairs, opp Pierremont Hall09:5211:5214:5216:52
Broadstairs, adj Lindenthorpe Road09:5811:5814:5816:58

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Stagecoach publishes route cuts and changes confirmed from August 28

26 Comments

  1. Some good news, but what about the people left stranded in Palm bay Beacon road Carlton avenue do we not matter?????

  2. Cllr Binks represents three wards in Broadstairs, Bradstowe,Viking and St. Peter’s.

    If this route succeeds perhaps other KCC councillors will be able to find a solution that benefits their residents.

  3. As stagecoach seem to be wanting to cut back on a lot of there routes, why not let the other company take over, and supply thanet with a reliable bus service.

    • Yes Steve I totally agree. If Stagecoach refuse to operate routes, they shouldn’t be authorised to operate any! Give the routes to a company/companies that provide a reliable service to the community!

      • Get off your high horse .
        Stagecoach are not refusing, they are short of drivers and routes that didn’t make at least break even cannot run at a loss .
        Instead of moaning why don’t you get a job at stagecoach and drive and see for yourself what it’s like to be abused by customers for running late etc when it’s not drivers fault .

        • It’s either (a) Because they’re short of drivers, or (b) because the route was making a loss. It can’t be both.

          And before you say it… I can’t drive! However, I’ll give you a lift on my bike handlebars if you want.

  4. Kent County Council have a statutory duty to support ‘socially necessary’ bus services and should have stepped in to fund reasonable replacement services back in August!

    • Yes Mark, I agree that the routes were and are socially necessary for the many! It would be nice to see KCC being supportive and not spending money on worthless projects for the few!

      • Unfortunately KCC have decided to spend vast sums on a station nobody needs or wants at Cliffsend. £50 million would fund a great many bus routes.

  5. It’s great news for all who have worked hard especially councillor Binks to get the service back when it restarts in December lets hope enough people will use it and prove that stagecoach were wrong to dump the route,well done Regent coaches for stepping in hoping it proves profitable,

  6. That’s great as it will give an hour at Westwood which should be sufficient. Is it Mon-Fri or Sat/Sun as well? What is return fare as I’m nowhere near free travel age!?

  7. Thats great news for those people on those routes. But what about all the older people on the 33bus route getting to the shops and medical centre

  8. Good news for Broadstairs. Thanks to Jenny and all who’ve campaigned for this and to Cllr Ros Binks for pushing this through.

  9. We used to have a bus service that came down Manston Court Road from Manston. It stopped at Bradgate Caravan Park (wyldcrest) and took people to Westwood cross. It was always full . There are lots of people here that can’t get out and have to rely on taxis. This would a life saver to many. It would be great if this was reinstated please

  10. It would be great if the 33 was reinstated. There are so many retirement flats along Eastern Esplanade, plus the 33 route goes past 2 Doctors Surgeries. It only ran once a hour, but it is sorely missed.

  11. I am sure if its Phil the driver it will work well he is a good and cheerful driver. My only criticism is we get the 9.00 at Westgate but you cant use your bus pass until 9.30 and many are elderly on this service so they cant now go out till 11.00 instead of 10.00

    • Going out is the easy part ,its getting back that is the problem– half an hour shopping in Westgate from Mountfield then an hour and half wait for return bus or a 31 minute walk home for the elderly (i walked it) As usual the poorest people land up paying one way or another.

  12. The rules are free bus travel for pensioners after 9.30am. I can’t use my Network card for cheaper (not free!) trains till 10am. I would like to go earlier for less but that’s how the scheme works. If I need to travel earlier n the train I pay the full fare. I pay full fare on the bus at all times. I suggest that any retired bus passengers who want to travel earlier also pay or wait.

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