Knockholt, Halstead and Badgers Mount to be cut off from Sevenoaks as 402 bus is axed

Credit: John Bennett and www.londonbusroutes.net

It seems Arriva is quietly planning to axe the hourly 402 bus service from Sevenoaks to Bromley North in late July. No announcement has been made, but a consultation has appeared on the website of TfL, who regulate the Greater London part of the route.

The TfL website has few details – making it difficult for people to comment! – but it seems that the Dunton Green to Bromley part of the 402 route will not be served at all, and that all 402 services will run just between Dunton Green and Tunbridge Wells.

This is very bad news for Knockholt, Halstead and Badgers Mount. Even though they are within the Sevenoaks District they will lose their direct public transport connection to Sevenoaks completely – an infrequent and irregular R5/R10 TfL bus service to Orpington and then a train to Sevenoaks is hardly an acceptable alternative.

It also means that there will be no direct public transport from Sevenoaks to the Princess Royal Hospital at Locksbottom – even though there seems to be a plan to move more services from Sevenoaks Hospital to that site. Again the alternative route of train and then bus is a poor and time-consuming alternative.

This vital link between London and Kent has a long history and our own observations suggest that it is still well used both by residents of Knockholt and Halstead and by Sevenoaks residents going to Locksbottom and Bromley.

If you want to preserve this link then it’s important that you respond to the TfL consultation online by 19 May. If there is enough public pressure then TfL can refuse the application to stop the services or provide the service themselves (like the 246 from Westerham to Bromley). Please also let us know what you think.


Comments

Knockholt, Halstead and Badgers Mount to be cut off from Sevenoaks as 402 bus is axed — 22 Comments

  1. A 402 service operated by TfL would represent a great improvement because it would accept Oyster and Contact payments.

    ENCTS passes would also be valid 24/7 instead of after 9:30am, allowing access to early appointments at the Princess Royal hospital.

  2. This proposal to remove the 402 bus service will cause extreme hardship to the many old people who don’t have cars and children attending senior schools in Sevenoaks who live in Halstead, Badgers Mount and Knockholt. Also people attending Sevenoaks Hospital or the PRU in Farnborough. Lots of elderly people in these villages rely on the bus service to get out and about.

  3. The Cock inn is an important part of the community as as such we would like to go on record as disagreeing with this decision in the strongest possible terms. Many of our local customers depend on this service and we as a business rely on it to stop drink driving.

  4. @kevin Thanks. With a Sevenoaks Area ticket on the 402 the Cock Inn stop is only £4 return from the centre of Sevenoaks – much better value than a fine, a driving ban and the chance of killing someone. Please make sure you and your customers individually fill in the TfL survey and say so, by 19 May. It’s at https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/lsp/6c352a0b/

  5. It’s a great service and without it Knockholt and the surrounding villages will be cut off from all nearby towns and amenities for those who have no alternative transport! It is relied on by residents as a way to get to school, hospitals and work to name but a few.

  6. @ann Thanks. Please complete the TfL survey and encourage others to do so.

  7. This simply encourages people to get in their cars/penalises those who cannot afford a car by scrapping the bus.

  8. Perhaps our General Election candidates would like to use this forum to tell us whether they approve of the axeing of the 402 and, if not, what are they doing about it?

  9. My mum relies on this service to do her shopping. She lives in Halstead and has no other means of travel. Taking this service away will mean she will be less independent and unable to get about as she does now.
    This will seriously impact her and her life if this service is taken away

  10. There are many people who rely on this service for shopping,school children,hospital visits.Not everyone has a car.Please keep this service going.

  11. This cannot happen. From pratts bottom/chelsfield this is the only form of public transport my son and his friends can use to get to school and many pensioners/families also rely on this service. The nearest bus to bromley would be Green St Green. This would be a huge disadvantage to the people living here. I have registered my comments with TFL.

  12. @Chrissie Yes. Please make sure you and your friends complete the TfL survey to ensure that as many as possible voices are heard on this issue.

  13. Me and my brother use this bus to get to and from school so we both rely on it a lot. Also a lot of other people rely on it to get out of where we live to other places. There are no other buses that allow people to do this…

  14. I use this service very often from Farnborough to Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells. I am more than surprised that withdrawing this service is being considered particularly when we are encouraged not use our cars and to use public transport. This will be a huge blow to those in local villages who will lose their independence and will cause isolation for some. I urgently suggest this proposal is reconsidered.

  15. @gillian Thannks. Please be sure to fill in the TfL survey too.

  16. Today I received the following message from a frequent user of the 402 service: “I am extremely worried that Arriva Kent & Sussex Ltd has applied to Transport for London to withdraw route 402 between Bromley and Dunton Green. This serves a number of isolated Kent villages and is a lifeline to residents of Knockholt such as myself, and those of Halstead and Badgers Mount who don’t drive. It is one of only two buses that service Knockholt, and with the train station several miles away, Orpington will be the only centre we can reach if it is axed, via the R5/R10. I am one of a great many residents who depend on it to get to Knockholt station, the PRU hospital, Riverhead Tesco, Sevenoaks, Bromley and elsewhere. Numerous elderly residents depend on it to do their shopping and get to the hospital, and our children rely on it to go to secondary school in Sevenoaks.”
    I am urging as many passengers as possible to fill in the consultation form before it closes on 18 May. As a parliamentary candidate and someone who regularly uses public transport, I have received many such messages about the 402, and I am fighting hard to try and save this vital lifeline for the local community, and in touch with Arriva and TFL. I have also sent my feedback to TFL on the form. Let’s all hope we can reverse this short-sighted proposal and score a victory for local people and common sense, and save the 402 service for these villagers.

  17. Arriva are also quietly dropping Weald Village from the 402 bus route. The bus is used by early morning commuters and is the only way for some residents to reach Sevenoaks or Tonbridge.

  18. I feel so strongly about this bus service being removed, it’s disgraceful. My daughter relies on the 402 service to get to and from school at Bromley Common from Pratt’s Bottom without which, she would have to walk through unlit, secluded areas to either Knockholt Station or over a two mile walk to Green St Green. In my opinion this bus needed to be more regular! I sincerely hope that TFL provide an alternative service which is regular (and operates on a Sunday too?!) so that the residents, old, young and in between, of these villages that reside WITHIN a London Borough and Zone 6 are able to continue to be able to get to larger towns such as Bromley, Orpington and Sevenoaks. I have registered on the TFL consultation but we need more people to do so!

  19. We’ve filed comments to TfL as follows:

    The Association has had a lot of feedback against this proposal after we gave it publicity locally.

    The proposal is very bad news for Knockholt, Halstead and Badgers Mount. Even though they are within the Sevenoaks District they will lose their direct public
    transport connection to Sevenoaks completely – an infrequent and irregular R5/R10 TfL bus service to Orpington and then a train to Sevenoaks is hardly an
    acceptable alternative – and the R5/R10 does not serve Badgers Mount at all.

    It also means that there will be no direct public transport from Sevenoaks to the Princess Royal Hospital at Locksbottom – even though there seems to be a plan
    to move more services from Sevenoaks Hospital to that site. Again the alternative route of train and then bus is a poor and time-consuming alternative.

    This vital link between London and Kent has a long history and our own observations suggest that it is still well used both by residents of Knockholt and Halstead
    and by Sevenoaks residents going to Locksbottom and Bromley.

    While some of the local publicity has been about school services, the loss of the 402 service on this route will also badly affect adult and leisure travel for these
    villages and isolate many elderly people in these surprising remote villages.

    If Arriva cannot be persuaded to continue the route, then TfL should consider taking over the Bromley to Sevenoaks part of this route and running it as a full TfL
    service. The 246 Bromley to Westerham shows similar connectivity provided by TfL to villages further west in the Kentish North Downs.

  20. We are about to move to Pratts Bottom and have just received our free bus pass so we’re planning to use this bus route regularly and now discover it is going to be axed. This is a big blow for us as it means we will either have to drive to get into Bromley or walk and then try to get another bus which means a difficult journey so if this bus continues to run it will help a lot of people both young and old, especially when people need to get to the hospital. I think it’s a disgrace if it’s allowed to be axed, especially in this day and age when we are all being encouraged to take public transport more!!!!

  21. This is a critical bus service to Halstead, enabling me with access to the local train station (otherwise it is a very long and dangerous walk round country lanes etc). Not being able to get to the station by bus will mean commuters risking their personal safety as well as additional inconvenience.

    In addition, without use of a car, I would be unable to get to Bromley, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells for shopping trips, hospital and doctor appts etc.

    This bus service cannot be stopped!

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