MP Welcomes Preservation of ‘Lifeline’ Rural Bus Service

A Kent MP has welcomed the decision to protect a crucial rural bus service for school pupils.

Helen Grant, Member of Parliament for Maidstone and The Weald, was very concerned to learn that the service, which is mostly used by students who live in Marden to get to schools across Maidstone, was under threat. The service was due to be discontinued by its operator NuVenture as they deemed it to be unprofitable and unsustainable because of continued delays caused by traffic.

Helen therefore made urgent contact with Kent County Council to ask them to intervene to protect the service. Pressure was also applied by members of the Maidstone School Bus Liaison Committee; including by representatives of Maidstone’s Grammar Schools. As a result, KCC committed to protecting the service and issued a tender for a like for like service which was won by Autocar who will take over the route in November.

Helen said, ‘I know from speaking to people in Marden that the No. 28 service is a lifeline for students and, of course, their parents. The local community made clear to me that they simply couldn’t afford to lose it.

I am therefore delighted that a ‘like for like’ service will now be maintained, albeit operated by a new provider.  I would like to congratulate Kent County Council for their swift response and commitment to preserving this all-important service. This also again shows the benefits of our school bus liaison committee as a means of addressing issues with school transport swiftly and efficiently.’