News Students paying

post-Covid price HUNDREDS of Maidstone school children were left standing at bus stops as crowded buses drove by on the morning school run during the first weeks back at school.

Children from Park Wood and Shepway were worst affected and an extra bus promised by Arriva rarely turned up, according to re- ports from parents and children. Arriva said: “Our services are Covid-19 secure and comply with social distancing measures. Once capacities are met, we cannot allow anyone else to board. We are mon- itoring the situation.” Arriva had set up a new website

and app, but experienced technical problems.

The statement added: “We are working on making things better.” Parents have also complained about lack of social distancing on trains from Snodland to Maid- stone at peak school journey times. A spokesman for South Eastern

Railway said: “With some plat- forms unsuitable for anything longer than three-carriage trains, there is a limit to the number of

Locks set to close for safety improvements

ALLINGTON Lock will be closed from mid-November through to March 2021.

The Environment Agency will

start work this month on a £2.5m programme to improve facilities and safety along the Upper Med- way Navigation.

The closures will also impact Oak Weir Lock, Sluice Weir Lock, East Lock, Porters Lock, Eldridges Lock and facilities at Allington. Work will include general cleaning and remedial works in lock chambers, refurbishment of lock gates, installation of new paddles, hydraulic system, traffic lights and kiosks. Two landing stages will be con- structed

at Allington Lock in

spring 2021, although access to the lock will be possible throughout these works. Various

locations along the

Medway will benefit from de-silt- ing work to improve navigability, and a full schedule of tree man-

agement will be undertaken this winter to reduce potential naviga- tion disruptions during the 2021 season.

The current Allington Lock dates back to the late 19th century but the current structure was in- stalled in 1939. The Lower Medway Company, founded in 1792, was given au- thority to make significant

changes to the 70-mile long river, its locks and towpaths by an act of Parliament. The Medway runs from Turners Hill in West Sussex, through Ton- bridge, Maidstone, the Medway towns and then to Sheerness where it flows into the Thames es- tuary. Full details of the schedule of works can be found at

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