orderForm.noItems Maidstone Weald Edition Maidstone Weald Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

March 2017

All change as Arriva unveils bus review

BUS passengers in Maidstone face major upheaval in a shake-up of routes throughout the borough by Arriva.

Changes which come into effect

on April 2 will see a number of cut- backs, with some services with- drawn completely. However, there will be improve-

ments in some areas, including a newdedicated service every 20 min- utes from the town to Maidstone Hospital. Details of the new timetable,

whichArriva says should reducede- lays by avoiding routes through the congested town centre, were un- veiled at a public meeting on Satur- day, February 18, at the Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone. The review coincides with the hir-

ing of leading PR consultancy Maxim whose press release, on be- half of Arriva, highlighted “exciting

changes to Maidstone services”. Craig Taylor of Arriva Southern Counties, said the bus firm had wanted “to see how we can further improve the reliability and punctu- ality of our services.” He added: “Congestion in the

town centre makes it difficult for our buses to keep to the timetable. By splitting routes and ensuring good connections, we will be able to pro- vide a far more reliable service.”

But concern over the “impact of

some of the changes proposed and the timing of them,” was raised by KCCbosses, according to an officer’s private briefing note to members, who will be going to the polls on May 4. The briefing, obtained by Downs

Mail, says: “As a result of our ap- proach, Arriva have made some ad- justments to their intended changes andmanyof the most sensitive have been mitigated. Despite this, there remains a negative impact for some passengers and the changes are likely to result in a negative reaction from the general public.” Arriva says that key improve-

ments include service 7 be- tween Maidstone and

4 Lib Dem candidate supports petition

RESIDENTS affected by the re- moval of the 89 Arriva bus service from Gallants Lane in East Far- leigh have started a petition to save the service.

Liberal Democrat Emily Fer- mor, a Maidstone borough coun- cillor and prospective parliamentary candidate, is pic- tured with protestors. She said: “There are a number of homes for the elderly along Gallants Lane and they are worried they will be- come completely isolated and un- able to get to Coxheath to use the Post Office. There are no paths along there and it is about a one-

FREE No. 239

News Pram race tribute

A TREE is to be planted in mem- ory of Francis O’Sullivan who died after a crash in the Sutton Valence pram race. 3

Castle kingfisher stars

THE number of kingfishers scoot- ing around Leeds Castle is the highest for five years.

Grafty bulldozers in

THE first stage of Grafty Green garden centre’s demoli- tion has started.

6 Ulcombe pub latest

THE Harrow pub is due to be re- opened at the end of March with new tenants.

Relief road plans

PLANS for a Leeds-Langley relief road will be put to pub- lic consultation in 2017.

Oak felling inquiry

FEARS oaks were cut down by de- velopers has sparked a council inquiry.

15 Obituaries 32 Parish Councils 34-37

A RESIDENT has written to ex- press concerns that a develop- ment is being built too close to her house in Headcorn; an elec- trical inspection has been carried out on the cricket pavilion in Ul- combe; gritter lorries and dust carts are finding it hard to access Old Loose Hill in Loose; there is a village clean-up in Staplehurst.

mile walk to Coxheath. Yes, schoolchildren could walk it, but people drive too fast along there.

It would be very dangerous.” The petition has already at- tracted dozens of signatures.


The Kent Law Firm Please see our ads on pages 5 and 23 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent

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28 Crime Reports 37

GARDEN ornaments are being targeted by thieves in Sutton Va- lence; a window was smashed at a house in Coxheath; there was an attempt to steal a six-wheel trailer from a field in Nettlestead; hub caps were stolen from a BMW in Burston Road, Coxheath.

Comment 46-47 14 11 5

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