As a Kent county councillor I receive considerable feedback from residents on our bus services, particularly those between Canterbury and Herne Bay. A considerable part of cash flow for our local service provider comes from Kent County Council in the form of subsidies and grants made for conveying our school children. This situation seems to allow the service provider such power as to call all the shots; effectively Stagecoach have a monopoly. The public are dismayed by huge buses carrying relatively few passengers creating pollution and congestion; this can’t be a good use of taxpayers’ money. The negotiation between KCC and service providers must be a moment to address this situation and create an environment in which cost may be reduced, alternative providers/services considered and the service and environment issues addressed. For example, the Westgate Towers trial has resulted in no bus services through the towers with passengers being unable to alight near to independent businesses in St Peter’s Street. This has had an adverse effect on those businesses; the buses were delivering around 100 people per hour. Views on the future of the service would be much appreciated. Please either contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or the newly-established Bus Users Group (Canterbury Bus users Group on Facebook) the address is facebook.com/CanterburyBusUserGroup.
County council member, Herne Bay
Herne Bay Gazette, April 23rd 2015