From Sunday 3 June there’ll be changes to many bus routes and timetables in Ashford. There'll also be changes to routes that serve the town from outlying areas.
There hasn’t been a full review of all these services for a number of years. Whilst there’s been growth in bus use on many routes, some carry few passengers at certain times.
Traffic congestion continues to have an impact on our services too. We recognise that you want your bus to run at the advertised time, so we need to make sure our timetables are achievable.
This means that adjustments to the network are required so that we can continue to offer sustainable local bus services for the long term.
The vast majority of places currently served by our buses will continue to be, however there will be some changes to route numbers and the frequency of buses on some routes.
A little bit of big news
As you may have already heard, we’ll be introducing slightly bigger buses to little & often routes. We know that many of you love the convenience of the little & often service but wish the buses had a bit more space for your legs and shopping! The buses will still be often – up to every 12 minutes on route B and every 10 minutes on route C, but with greater comfort and more capacity on board.
We’ve seen a fantastic 35% growth in bus use on these routes since we launched the little & often service just over a year ago. We hope that bringing in these larger buses will build a network that works for you and is sustainable over the long term.
A new route A service linking Singleton with the town centre will also become part of the little & often network.
The switch to little & often on routes E and G didn’t result in an increase in bus use. This means that we now need to readjust the level of service in areas covered by these routes so that it matches more closely the actual demand for travel.
A – Ashford
This route will be divided into two dedicated services, route A for Singleton and route D for Stanhope. Route A will become a little & often service operating every 10 minutes. Route D will operate every 15 minutes. The existing evening and Sunday route serving both Singleton and Stanhope will be numbered route AD.
By separating the routes in this way we’ll be able to provide a more reliable service that is less likely to suffer from delays, particularly for Singleton which will no longer be affected by traffic congestion at the Designer Outlet.
B – Ashford
Things will be getting a little bigger! We’re waving goodbye to the compact little buses and saying hello to larger minibuses with more legroom and space for shopping bags. The service will remain little & often operating at a high frequency (every 12 minutes) along the same route as it does now. In the evenings and on Sundays buses will run every 30 minutes.
C – Ashford
Things will be getting a little bigger! We’re waving goodbye to the compact little buses and saying hello to larger minibuses with more legroom and space for shopping bags. The service will remain little & often running at the same high frequency as now along the same route. In the evenings buses will run every 30 minutes. Sunday buses will remain at every 15 minutes.
E – Ashford
This route will no longer operate, but other bus routes will continue to serve most areas currently covered by route E. An hourly route 666 service will serve Trinity Road, Eureka Leisure Park, John Lewis and Repton Park Waitrose. Orbital Park and South Willesborough will be served every 30 minutes by route G. Little Burton will be served by route 1 giving a direct link to and from the town centre. On Sundays and Bank Holidays there will be a new hourly route 666 service running between Ashford town centre and Eureka Leisure Park.
Links to the new timetables are available in the sections for each route below.
G – Ashford
Things will be getting a little bigger! We’re waving goodbye to the compact minibuses and saying hello to larger buses with more legroom and space for shopping bags. The route will be extended to serve South Willesborough and Orbital Park (replacing the current route E) and buses will run every 30 minutes.
1 (1A and 1X) – Ashford/Canterbury
If you use these routes you’ll know that the service can suffer from delays. The existing arrangement means that most bus journeys have to use the level crossings at Wye and Chartham. Although we do our best to schedule our buses so they don’t meet with trains - it’s inevitable that delays will occur when the crossings are down.
From 3 June this route will be reorganised so that it better suits the requirements of our customers and is less susceptible to delays. There will be a dedicated service between Chartham (Beech Avenue) and Canterbury (route 1A). There will also be a dedicated service running between Wye and Ashford (route 1). Both these routes will operate on an hourly basis with extra buses at peak times. By separating this route into two parts the potential for delays to the service will be minimised.
There will still be a through service between Ashford and Canterbury which will serve Chilham and Chartham Rail Station (and Wye at peak times). This will run at peak times and every 2 hours during the daytime.
2, 2A – Ashford/Tenterden/Hastings
Unfortunately these routes are not well used outside of peak times during the day. Whilst the level of service between Tenterden and Ashford will remain similar at peak times, there will be a reduction in the frequency of buses during the daytime.
Route 2 will be changed to run every 2 hours during the day between Hastings, Tenterden and Ashford. We’re also separating this service form route 1 so that buses no longer run through to (and from) Canterbury.
Route 2A will be changed to run every 2 hours during the day but with extra journeys at peak times.
These routes will together provide an hourly service between Tenterden and Ashford with some additional journeys at peak times.
10, 10A – Folkestone/Ashford
A revised timetable will apply. Most parts of the route will continue to be served, but we’re separating the 10/10A and 10X so that buses won’t run through to Maidstone. You’ll need to change bus in Ashford town centre if you want to continue your journey towards Maidstone. This will help improve the reliability of these services because delays caused by traffic congestion in and around Maidstone will no longer impact on journeys running through to Folkestone.
There’ll be an improved Sunday and Bank Holiday service running every two hours which will also serve Port Lympne.
Route 10 and 10A buses will run separate routes in and out of Folkestone. Peak time route 10A will operate as it does now directly via Sandgate. Most buses will be route 10 and will serve Shorncliffe Road and the Golden Valley and run to Cheriton Tesco and Horn Street to Seabrook.
10X – Maidstone/Ashford
A revised timetable will apply. All parts of the route will continue to be served, but we’re separating the 10X from the 10/10A so that buses won’t run through to Folkestone. You’ll need to change bus in Ashford town centre if you want to continue your journey towards Hythe and Folkestone. This will help improve the reliability of the service because delays caused by traffic congestion in east Ashford (around junction 10) will no longer impact on journeys running to Maidstone.
11 (11A, 11B) – Ashford/Romney Marsh/Lydd
All buses will start and finish at Ashford town centre where you can change to the high frequency route C service for the William Harvey Hospital. There will be changes to the timetable with some new journeys on routes 11A and 11B.
121 – Molash/Shottenden/Wye/Ashford
This route will no longer operate because much of the route is served by a parallel route 1 bus that has spare capacity on board. Unfortunately it will no longer be possible to serve Molash and Shottenden.
517 & 519 – Park Farm Ashford
The morning route 517 service from Park Farm to Hythe Road will no longer operate. This will be replaced by a route 2A bus that will serve Park Farm for Hythe Road Schools. There is also an alternative bus on route 518.
Route 519 will no longer serve Park Farm and will be shortened to start at Stanhope. If you travel from Park Farm to Towers School please use route B which provides a direct service to the school.
666 – Faversham/Ashford
There will be a revised timetable and most buses will be rerouted to run to and from Ashford via Trinity Road (Eureka Place). The buses will also serve Eureka Leisure Park, John Lewis and Repton Park Waitrose.
School-time route 666 buses will continue to operate on the existing route directly in and out of Ashford (Faversham Road and Canterbury Road).
Most buses will start and finish at Ashford town centre where you can change to the high frequency route C service for the William Harvey Hospital.
There will be a new hourly Sunday route 666 service running between Ashford town centre and Eureka Leisure Park.
HS2 & HS3 – Ashford/Tenterden school-time buses
These buses will no longer be operated by Stagecoach. Please contact KCC for further information.
If you have any questions or unsure about how these changes will affect you, then let us know. You can Tweet us @StagecoachSE, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject header Ashford timetable changes.