Kent County Council are to cease supporting the number 13 bus service from Hollingbourne into Maidstone and will replace it with a 6 times a day service that will run from Hollingbourne to Morrisons on the Sutton Road where it will be necessary to change on to another bus in order to get into Maidstone. The present service for the five mile journey to central Maidstone presently takes about 40 minutes and it is expected that the new arrangement will take up to an hour.
Hollingbourne Parish Council has received a notice about this new scheme which makes no mention of what will happen to the present Saturday service which is operated by Arriva. The Monday to Friday service will continue to be run by NU Venture.
The announcement from Kent County Council is reproduced below.
Future pilot for the 13 bus service
Following a recent consultation run by Kent County Council (KCC) a 12 month pilot has been approved for the 13 service to become a feeder bus.
Instead of providing a direct service into Maidstone the bus will stop at Morrisons on Sutton Road where you will be able to catch the number 82 into Maidstone Town Centre. This means the bus can run more often.
The new Feeder service will be:
Stopping Points Hollingbourne – Otham – Leeds – Langley
Destination Maidstone Town Centre Morrisons, Sutton Road
Frequency 6 return journeys
From Morrisons into Maidstone
10 return journeys (hourly)
Arriva 82 to Maidstone Town Centre every 10 minutes
Also available from Morrisons in the other direction
Arriva 12 to Headcorn and Tenterden every 30 mins
Concessionary travel passes will still be accepted and if you buy a ticket on board you will be able to use on both buses without paying any extra.
The service will continue to be operated by Nu-Venture Monday to Friday and school journeys will not be affected.
The changes are due to take place in June.
After a year KCC will decide if the changes will be permanently or if the 13 service should go back to the current timetable. The Finalised timetables are due be available in May.
Th reduction in bus services comes at a time when the demand for public transport in the Maidstone area is growing due to the fact that housing developments are being built around the County Town without any major investment in infrastructure.
Any comments and requests for more information should be sent to KCC at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured below is a Nu Venture bus in Maidstone.