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.