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Extra bus for school children

Friday 22nd November 2013

AN extra bus is being laid on for pupils travelling from some of the borough’s villages to schools in Maidstone due to delays on the rail line.

The county council has taken the unprecedented step of laying on additional capacity to offer pupils a more reliable option to the trains, after failing to get an assurance from Southeastern that the 07.47 service from Ashford into town would be more reliable during the rest of the “leaf fall” season.

David Brazier, KCC cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “In recent weeks, the 07.47 train has been late on a number of occasions and we have been unable to obtain sufficient safeguards from Southeastern that the reliability of this train will improve in the short-term.

The county council will provide the extra bus on Stagecoach’s route 10X on school days for pupils from Lenham, Harrietsham, Hollingbourne and Bearsted throughout November. It will leave Lenham at 7.35am, Harrietsham at 7.46, Hollingbourne at 07.55 and Bearsted (Lion of Kent) at 08:01. Students with rail season tickets will be able to use the service during November.

Students using the 07:47 departure from Ashford to Maidstone are advised to check the national rail website to get specific information on live train departures and if it is late, the extra bus capacity is available.

The county council will review the matter in December.