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Newspaper Columns

KM Column - X1 and X2 Buses - 30 August 2018

When Kings Hill was first built, the permission to build it made clear it must have public transport, so residents could easily get to work and school.

Arriva put on the X1 and X2 buses linking the growing community to West Malling station nearby so commuters could get easily to London and Maidstone without using a car. That’s always be the plan – help us live in a beautiful new community but allow us to get around easily.  But sometimes things don’t work out as planned.

I’m not the first to notice this, but let’s face it, there’s no easy way to get around Kings Hill today.  For too long time the buses have been unreliable, so many of us have missed meetings or been late leaving or arriving.  That’s not just important for those of us with jobs, but for school kids, the elderly getting to hospital appointments and those coming to see the council, this can make life almost impossible – or at least very expensive.

We all know how half an hour can make a difference when trying to set up a meeting, well again this has been made worse recently by the train timetable change in May, which meant that the buses were now running entirely out of sync with the trains. That’s annoying for everyone.  For schoolkids its worse – they never aligned properly with the school timetable making it tough for kids to get to school on time.

I’ve been talking to Arriva about this often and I’m pleased to say that things are changing -  from the beginning of August there’s a new timetable much better synced with trains at West Malling and schools in Maidstone.

From now on we should be able to go from the bus to the train, or to school without delays. And now that it will travel along the M20 it should avoid peak-hour traffic jams and be much more reliable. Please let me know how the changes work for you.

Georgie Welford