On April 5th I wrote a post which lamented the demise of the 277 Sunday bus service around the Sherwood Estate in Tunbridge Wells (“I Love It When A Plan Comes Together”). It seems the bus company had provided this much-needed service just as long as they were being compensated for its cost by developer contributions from the Great Lodge Retail Park in Tunbridge Wells.
Sadly, as soon as those contributions ran out – around five years – the service was pulled, leaving many elderly and disabled residents, not to mention young people and others without access to a car, stranded.
I met with transport planners at Kent County Council, and we hatched a plan whereby an existing Sunday service from another operator could be diverted from its existing route to allow it to cover the old Sherwood Sunday service. A licence would have to be applied for to allow route variation, and that should take around five weeks.
Last evening, a local resident handed me a paper which had been pushed through her door. It was a bus timetable for the new Sunday service, which is now up and running.
When another local resident made a point of shaking my hand and thanking me for bringing back the service, suddenly the effort seemed worthwhile.