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PARK & RIDE CLOSURE: Lib Dems launch petition to save it - full story

Monday 17th January 2022

ALMOST 1,500 people have signed a petition to save the Maidstone Park and Ride (P&R) service.
Liberal Democrats have launched the appeal to highlight Conservative-led Maidstone Borough Council's decision to discontinue the service.
Arriva had been running P&R but said it was no longer financially viable and its contract expires next month.
The company has been providing the buses while the council looked after the "stations" at Willington Street and Allington. 
MBC decided to step away rather than meet an anticipated £100,000 shortfall. Use of the service has been severely affected by COVID-19.
Now Lib Dem councillors have already "called in"  the decision for review on January 22.
Cllr Clive English said: "The decision to close Park & Ride, if it happens, should not be based on the unusual situation faced by all public transport operators over the period of the pandemic, but should be based on what is in the long-term good of Maidstone, with a full knowledge that we may be about to close down one of the few avenues that we have to reduce congestion, and that the controversial Maidstone local Plan review continues to cite as an important measure. 
"If it does close that will be yet another missing piece in an already very shaky looking Local Plan.”
Two thirds of the signatories, almost 1,000, live in the borough.
Cllr Derek Mortimer added: "The greatest number of signatories is as expected around where the park and ride run from with Allington leading the way, and Bearsted following, but all 26 Wards in the Borough are represented with people across Maidstone Borough recognising the value of this service."
The council has pledged to try and find another partner to run the bus service, which is seen as a means to cut traffic on the roads.