13 OCT 2017

Crunch talks with bus bosses

I met Stagecoach's area chief for crunch talks on recent changes to local bus services. I told him how I had received scores of complaints regarding routes across the district.

Kent County Council's head of public transport Phil Lightowler also attended the meeting at my Westminster office. We discussed changes to bus routes implemented by Stagecoach in July. I also asked people to comment on my Facebook page so I could pass on their concerns to the bus firm – and more than 100 took the chance to have their say.

Mr Norwell, Stagecoach's South East managing director, told me he had read the comments on the Facebook page. He said many of the problems raised had been addressed.

The bus boss said Stagecoach had taken action on services to local schools. After I raised concerns last month, the firm made changes to ensure students from Kingsdown could get home from school.

Mr Norwell also said Stagecoach had worked with KCC to ensure parts of Great Mongeham and Northbourne are covered after complaints were raised. Stagecoach has also added an additional journey between Eastry and Canterbury. Mr Norwell agreed to look closer at issues resulting from changes to services in St Radigunds and River.

Thank you to everyone who has got in touch with me about changes Stagecoach has made to services in our area. Judging by the sheer amount of emails, comments and letters, it's clear the firm has many questions to answer.

It's welcome that Stagecoach say they have made changes after people raised concerns – and that they are working with KCC to help cover some areas. Yet if anyone is still experiencing problems, I urge them to get in touch with me so I can take up their case."

Residents can get in touch with me by emailing charlie.elphicke.mp@parliament.uk or messaging on Facebook.

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Charlie Elphicke

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