30 SEP 2014

Arriva Bus Management held to account

MP chairs round table meeting to improve services in Staplehurst

Maidstone, Kent 30-09-14: 'Our school children can't get home at night' say Staplehurst Parents. That was one of the ongoing concerns that were brought to the table at a recent meeting called by Maidstone and the Weald MP Helen Grant at Arriva's offices in Armstrong Road, Maidstone. Arriva Regional Commercial Director Kevin Hawkins, Commercial Manager Matthew Arnold and Regional General Manager Graham Harmer all faced the music when, under the chairmanship of Helen Grant, the group of Parish and Borough Councillors and local parents came together to deal with a number of concerns.

The biggest problem was that the 15:55 service that usually takes Maidstone school children home could not cope with the numbers and left several students stranded waiting for a later service after a long day and still with homework to do.

Other issues included a poor record of breakdowns, drivers failing to stop at certain locations and a lack of service cancellation information for waiting passengers on the hourly No. 5 service from Maidstone to Sandhurst.

MP Helen Grant said

"The people from Arriva listened carefully and promised to address these issues. They will be writing to me with their proposals in the near future. I have called a further meeting for January 2015 to review progress". "I must pay tribute to Parish Cllr Peter Spearink, Staplehurst Mums Louise Brice and longstanding campaigner Tina Jordan, and the local Transport Accessibility Group who have been working on the local bus service problem for the last 6 years".

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