Eastry News

KCC Update on Bus Services

KCC Members

Via email

Roger Gough

Leader’s Office

Sessions House

County Hall


Kent ME14 1XQ

Tel: 03000 416167

22 July 2022

Dear Colleagues

You will of course be aware that there are a number of bus services being withdrawn
across Kent which will have a big impact on some residents, particularly families who
face the prospect of difficulties getting their child to school in September.

The transport sector is facing some exceptionally challenging factors lower passenger
numbers combined with expensive fuel costs, driver shortages and rising inflation
affecting the cost of maintaining vehicles. These challenges are placing significant
pressure on bus operators, making some services unprofitable for bus operators to run.
In addition to this, Kent County Council is also having to reduce the amount of funding
available to subsidise some routes.

I am writing to let you know about what we can and cannot do considering the current

What we can do

We will make sure that children and young people for whom we currently provide
free travel to and from school continue to have transport in September. We have
a statutory duty to do so.

We have published an
uptodate list of all service withdrawals to help
parents find out if they might be affected.

We will provide refunds to any parents who have bought a Kent Travel Saver bus
pass which they can’t use because services have been withdrawn or will be later
this year.

We are working closely with other bus operators to see if they can offer any
services to those being withdrawn (while recognising that all operators are facing
the same set of challenges).

We will work with schools and parents if they want to fund their own services.

We will signpost parents to the Kent Connected app which shows other travel
options that might be suitable, such as carsharing, cycling and walking routes.

What we cannot do

We are sorry that we cannot provide transport to and from school for children
and young people who are not eligible for free school travel. We do not have the
funding or a statutory obligation to do this and unfortunately have no other
means to help families get their children to school.

We cannot financially support services that are being withdrawn by bus
operators this would require a huge level of investment that we cannot provide.

We cannot increase the level of our subsidies as we do not have the funding.

We cannot insist bus operators continue to provide services as we do not have
the power to do so.

As a local transport authority with good relations with our bus operators, we continue to
work with them to try to find local solutions, but we are at a point where there is little
more we can do without having significant additional funding.

We are making sure that residents are aware of the issue and have provided the single
source of information about all service withdrawals across the network on our website
Please do contact our Public Transport team if you want to discuss further and they will
do what they can to help.

Yours sincerely

Roger Gough

Leader of Kent County Council

Member for Sevenoaks North and Darent Valley