A small step towards integrated transport in Sevenoaks

station bus display 2016-08-16 12.42.57For years we have been pressing Southeastern, Go-Coach and Arriva to work together to improve information about buses from the railway station. We’re pleased to say that in the last few days a new display has been sited on the concourse with details of the local bus routes including a map and with bus timetable leaflets. Well done to all concerned!

The next step is to get a display of real-time departure information. We know that the bus companies have the data (normally collected by GPS systems on the buses); we will be keeping up the pressure to get the information to the passengers who need it!


Comments

A small step towards integrated transport in Sevenoaks — 1 Comment

  1. I have just read with interest your article about the bus and rail companies taking an integrated approach to transport links for Sevenoaks commuters, and I thought it was worth giving you my thoughts on the subject as I am sure I am not alone in wishing first and foremost for a reliable bus service before anything else.

    For those of us who live up towards Seal or beyond the Arriva service is awful. It is once an hour at best and it is usually late as it has to make the long journey from Bluewater or Gravesend, which is fraught with delays. In the morning, the only commuting option for many is the 06.41 (Seal High Street to Sevenoaks Bus Station), recently revised to 06.26 (the next bus direct to the station is just before 08.00), and in the evening the last bus up from the station was 19.20, now 19.00. I for one have had to appeal to my boss to allow me to leave work half an hour before official finish time to get the train in order to catch the last bus. The only plus for her is that I am in the office so staggeringly early due to having to catch the bus at 06.30 (a source of much amusement in the office as many of my colleagues are still in bed when I arrive!) This revised time in the evening, I am told by Arriva, is due to lack of demand. I have appealed to Arriva directly and pointed out the busiest fast trains get in from London between 19.00 and 19.30, so of course no one uses the service as it does not meet local needs. Of course Arriva customer service and planning departments are in Luton so the nice lady I am talking to has no idea about the reality of our situation. Sadly I am sure that Arriva’s and Kent County Council’s ultimate goal is to demonstrate that so few people use the service they should pull it completely.

    I am hoping that, with the possibility of a new transport strategy from 2018, general commuter links in the area will improve, but we will have to suffer-on for another two years before that comes into effect. Maybe things will improve when Arriva’s contract is up for renewal, but that is also not for another two years and is also dependent on the competency of those making purchasing decisions at the council. Sevenoaks is a large urban area that borders the largest London Borough of Bromley, and I find it staggering that we suffer in the way we do just because we do not have a Greater London postcode. I would be grateful for your thoughts on this subject.

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