The Maidstone Bus Liaison Committee was first brought together by Helen Grant to address and rectify the root causes of school bus lateness and ‘no shows’ in Maidstone and The Weald.
Schools from across Maidstone gathered together again this week with KCC and local bus operators NuVenture, Arriva, and Stagecoach to discuss the services provided to pupils for their journeys to and from school in 2022.
As schools return to a sense of normal following the easing of covid restrictions, bus services continue to face difficulties as a result of the pandemic. Huge decreases in demand throughout the pandemic has left bus operators with significant financial troubles. This has been coupled with driver shortages, creating further issues.
Helen Grant said ‘It is vital that children in Maidstone are able to get to school on time. After the disruption to education that has been caused by the pandemic, I am pleased that efforts are being refocussed on school transport.
I know from conversations with my constituents in more rural areas of the Weald that the number 5 service in particular, between Cranbrook and Maidstone, is a frequent cause of problems. With the closure of the High Weald Academy, more pupils will now be relying on this service and so it is key that this service is running smoothly.
I am encouraged by the dialogue that is taking place between schools and bus companies, however, and hope that a good transport service can return for all children as soon as possible.’