Free bus travel across the county to coincide with the Kent Big Weekend

Stagecoach bus

Bus passengers across Kent and Medway will be able to travel for free over the weekend of June 24-25, thanks to a collaboration between Kent County Council and the bus companies, paid for with funding from the government.

The initiative has been coordinated to support the Kent Big Weekend, organised by Visit Kent, which is promoting more than 70 tourist attractions across the county with many offering free or reduced cost entry.

The Kent Big Weekend takes place on June 24-25. The ballot to get tickets for attractions is open until June 12 and can be found at www.kentbigweekend.co.uk

The Free Bus Weekend is funded by the Department for Transport through Kent’s Enhanced Bus Partnership Schemes.

Passengers can just turn up and travel for free on any bus within Kent and Medway up to 8pm on both days.

It is hoped that as well as supporting the Kent Big Weekend, it will encourage more people to use buses again following the pandemic, to discover new places, visit friends or family and to help reduce the number of cars on Kent’s roads.

KCC’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier said: “We are very grateful to the government for providing us with the funding to support our Bus Service Improvement Plan.

“Reduced use of buses and increased operating costs means that there is a real challenge for operators to sustain their services.  This is one of a number of new initiatives that we hope can improve our network and encourage greater bus use helping to make services sustainable in the future.”

For more information about the Free Bus Weekend, visit www.kent.gov.uk/freebusweekend.

For information about the venues and offers featured in the Kent Big Weekend, visit www.kentbigweekend.co.uk

18 Comments

  1. It would be great if there were actually any buses to catch.
    On a Saturday morning, it takes 1hr31 to get to Minster from Ramsgate. There are no buses home after lunch time, and none at all on Sunday.
    Sandwich? Possible on Sat, a service every 90 minutes. But nit at all on Sunday.
    Canterbury, perhaps? Yes, that’s possible, both Saturday and Sunday. Requires a change of bus, and takes between 1hr15 and 1hr45.

  2. Even Stagecoach are not operating 25 year old Dennis Darts.The picture must have been taken from the archives and is not depicting a Loop bus.
    I support the initiative but only because it displays the serious damage inflicted on the network by Stagecoach in recent years and it is ongoing.Folkestone is now experiencing disinvestment by Stagecoach.
    This free weekend is part of the Bus back better funding but throwing cash at the problem will not work.
    Bus back better is about persuading people to use the bus more and the car rather less and to do that KCC and Stagecoach must be entirely customer focussed and I don’t see see either organisation understanding what is necessary to get key sections of society to trust the bus as a viable form of transport.

    • We need a bus “Service”, rather than a commercial money making operation.
      A “service”, run to help people get around, would offset the losses caused by running evening and weekend buses against the profits of from the weekday rush hour buses.
      A commercial enterprise would simply cut the evening and weekend buses: indeed, this is exactly what’s happening.
      You can only entice people out of their cars if bus travel is pleasant, effective and cheap.

      • It IS pleasant, effective and cheap (with the possible exception of the loop). I’ve almost given up driving, as buses are now so cheap at £2 per journey.

  3. Liberal use of the word “free”. We pay for it.

    Like the “free” cost of living cash paid out to most people. We also pay for it.

    And the “free” furlough cash which was doshed out. Our kids and grandkids will still be paying for that for decades.

    • And the £Billions bunged to us to help with our fuel bills. I’ll be grateful to my children and grandchildren for the rest of their lives, because that’s how long ut will take to pay off the government’s loans.

  4. I am looking forward to this although i wonder if i will be able to find a bus with an empty seat. If only this could happen 7 days a week.

  5. That’s great! It’s just a shame that a bus no longer services the route that I use (the33)

  6. If the bus services are free to those who normally have to pay, does the mean those of us with free bus passes already will be given a few Bob in cash when we board a bus over the weekend? 😂😂😂

  7. So have I read this correctly? You have to enter a ballot (closed 12th June) to get free travel? I can see this going horribly wrong. Who’d be a bus driver 🤦🏻‍♂️

    • No, the ballot was for the Kent Big Weekend to get tickets for attractions. The free bus journeys have been timed to coincide with the Big Weekend.

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