Dozens of bus services will be cut in Kent at the end of October.
A total of 38 subsidized routes in the county will be withdrawn by Kent County Council (KCC) over the next three months.
Many serve rural areas and isolated communities where people rely on public transport and the removal of some will have a direct impact on how children get to school.
Services provided by the bus companies Autocar, Arriva, Stagecoach, Go Coach, Regents, Nu-Venture and Chalkwell should be discontinued.
Eric Baldock, head of bus and coach transport at Autocar, said his company did not support the cuts.
He said: “KCC’s action goes against the government’s green policy on encouraging the use of public transport.
“It is likely that much of rural Kent will be bus-free, even for school journeys.”
Kent Karrier, a call-on-demand service that takes disabled and elderly people from their homes to the city center or the nearest supermarket, was originally set to be scrapped but has now been rescued.
The £2.2million cuts sparked widespread outcry, protests were staged and a petition was launched calling for a rethink.
But they were deemed necessary to help the county council deal with mounting financial problems amid the pandemic as county bosses seek to achieve a balanced budget from April 2022 to April 2023.
KCC Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Cllr David Brazier (Con), said this month: “Indeed the £2.2million is no longer in my budget and I cannot spend any the money I don’t have.”
Opponents have raised strong objections, fearing worsening social isolation for people in rural areas, higher costs for families and further damage to the environment, with more car journeys and CO2 emissions .
Cllr Ian Chittenden, transport spokesman for KCC’s Liberal Democrats, said: “People are having financial problems.
“The money of many individuals is falling and they will have to use public transport.”
Swale Independents Alliance County Councilor Mike Baldock of KCC’s transport committee added: ‘We have to find another way to run the buses.
What services will be cut in each neighborhood?
- 111 Stagecoach from Ashford to Folkestone; withdrawal of Thursday service only.
- 123 Stagecoach from Biddenden to Ashford; withdrawal from the entire service.
- Tenterden Hopper; Tenterden Social Center.
- 6/645 Stagecoach from Herne and Broomfield to Hilborough School; 8:19 am and the afternoon return trip would be waived.
- 634 Regents coaches from Studd Hill to Beltinge; withdrawal of customer service operating between Studd Hill and Betlinge on a Thursday only.
- 433 Came from Bluewater to New Ash Green; withdrawal of all Sunday service.
- 474/5 GB Coach from Bluewater to Longfield; the entire service which runs from Monday to Saturday.
- 61/61A Stagecoach from Aycliffe to Whitfield; elimination of three trips from Monday to Saturday evening.
- 541/542/544 Regent’s Coaches from Dover to Canterbury.
- sandwich connection; Brittany ; Northbourne Clip; withdrawal of the Sandwich Connect service which operates from Monday to Friday.
Folkestone and Hythe
- 17 Stagecoach from Folkestone to Canterbury; elimination of four Monday to Friday routes and four routes operating Monday to Saturday evening between Folkestone and Canterbury.
- 489 Came from New Ash Green to Gravesend.
- 5 Arrival of Maidstone at Sandhurst; withdrawal of Monday to Saturday evening service between Maidstone and Sandhurst.
- 13 Nu-Venture from Hollingbourne to Maidstone; the withdrawal of the current Saturday service between Hollingbourne and Park Wood; The service from Monday to Friday remains unchanged.
- 24 Coach from Sandhurst to Maidstone. Tuesday pickup only 9.30am journey from Sandhurst to Maidstone and 1.20pm return from Maidstone.
- 58 Nu-Venture from Addington to Maidstone; Monday to Saturday service, which provides the only public transport for the villages west of West Malling.
- 59 Nu-Venture from Grafty Green to Maidstone; withdrawal of all service operating Monday to Saturday between Grafty Green and Park Wood for the Maidstone connection.
- 266 Coach from Kilndown to Maidstone.
- Buyer Detling; Company of Detling at Maidstone; bus removal Monday to Friday from Detling village to Maidstone.
- X1/X2 Arrival from Kings Hill to Maidstone; withdrawal of all service from Monday to Friday.
- 70 Nu-Venture from Borough Green to Larkfield.
- 222 Coach from Wrotham to Tonbridge; elimination of four trips, Monday to Friday and Saturday.
- Edenbridge Municipal Service E1 Go Coach; removal of all circular service Monday to Friday around Edenbridge.
- 8 Chalkwell from Sittingbourne to Kenilworth Court and Conyer. Withdrawal of six trips at off-peak hours, Monday to Friday.
- 9 Sittingbourne town centre. Withdrawal of all service which operates Monday to Saturday for Kenilworth Court, Bell Road and Northwood Avenue.
- 343/344/345 Chalkwell bus service from Newnham to Sittingbourne. Withdrawal of three services in their entirety; operating Monday through Saturday.
- 332 Chakwell from Stockbury to Sittingbourne; withdrawal from school day service only.
- 360 from Leysdown to Queenborough; withdrawal of all Sunday service between Leysdown and Sheerness.
- 662 Chalkwell of Teynham to Faversham Schools; withdrawal from school service only during the day.
- 664 Conyer’s Chalkwell at Lynsted Primary School; withdrawal from school day service only.
- 666 Faversham Chalkwell to Sheldwich School; withdrawal from school day service only.
- 954 Regents coaches from Birchington to Sandwich Schools; withdrawal from school day service only.
Tonbridge and Malling
- 502 Nu-Venture from West Malling to Wrotham School.
- 88 Nu-Venture from Maidstone to Kings Hill.
- Clarkes HC3 minibus from Dunton Green to Hugh Christie; withdrawal from school day service only.
- 6 Arriva service from East Peckham to Tunbridge Wells
- 255 Coach from Benenden to Tunbridge Wells; withdrawal three days a week
- 277 Came Henwood Green to Tunbridge Wells; withdrawal from an early morning trip.
- 292/299 Coach from Tenterden to Tenterden.
- 293 Coach from Tunbridge Wells to Rye.
- 296 Coach from Paddock Wood to Tunbridge Wells.
- TW9 Go Coach from Langton Green to Tunbridge Wells; withdrawal from school day service only.