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downsmail.co.uk MalMalling Editionling 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 between Maidstone and


14 Florists celebrate lucky loery win


LIFE has turned rosy for florists Con and Lorna Smith who have won al- most a quarter of a million pounds on the Euromillions lottery. The couple, who run Doremada Florists in Snodland High Street, believe their big win was just one of a chain of lucky events which began with Con’s dad making a miraculous recovery from illness, having been given 24 hours to live.


Con had popped into a shop, which he never usually visited, to buy the ticket while he waited for his food to be cooked at the chippy next door.


6


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Horses left to die RSPCA inspectors have warned of an equine crisis after nearly 40 cases where dead and dying horses were dumped in fields. The charity said that many of the animals could have been saved, but it was too late by the time help was called in. 18


Clare Lake in East Malling was given a spring clean, thanks to vol- unteers and community wardens who cleared rubbish, concrete, brambles and ivy. The four-page supplement inside by Malling Ac- tion Partnership supports people and events in Malling.


Pub opening time


THE Malling Jug micropub inWest Malling get the thumbs up from planners.


Phone crackdown


TWELVE motorists face fines for using their mobiles at the wheel.


Tributes to two pals


PUPILS plan a special garden in memory of two of their classmates.


Dirty road signs


DRIVER cleared of speeding as court hears signs were too filthy to read.


19


Crime Reports 18 24 26


Obituaries Comment


Parish Councils 34-35 19 16 10


FREE No. 239


News Community plea


A LARKFIELD gran fights to bring community spirit back to the village.


Birds’ flying visit


A FLOCK of waxwings has been causing a flutter in an East Malling churchyard.


10 3


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