Chalkwell to re-invest in its Kent & Medway Network


New local bus timetables are to be introduced by Sittingbourne based Chalkwell from September 1.  And they include re-investment.

The new timetables contain significant changes to seven of the services they operate through their long established Kent and Medway network.

And savings from services which are currently not fully used will be reinvested into other improvements to the network.

Significantly for passengers, say Chalkwell, there will be an increase in the number of 326 services to provide more direct links between Sittingbourne, Newington and the Medway Towns.

From September 1 nearly every 326/327 journey will be extended to include Gillingham and Mid Kent College.  Peak journeys will actually go to the college campus and all others will stop along the main road within easy walking distance.

The Hempstead Shopper will also be extended and improved, Chalkwell reveal.

Of the 326/7, Chalkwell’s Commercial Director Roland Eglinton said:  “The very last round trip of the day on Monday to Saturday will cease to operate due to low usage, with the cost savings reinvested back into the daytime service when people are more likely to make use of it.

“Saturdays will alter considerably with a revised timetable and a reduced number of journeys.  We will still run regular services at the most important times on Saturdays, but savings generated have been reinvested back into the service as a whole through the other improvements.”

He said the number of 327’s will slightly decrease, but there will be an increase in the number of 326’s.  The new timetable for September will be on the Chalkwell website very shortly.

Roland said the new timetable for 320/321 services was already on the website.

This affects services which run between the Isle of Sheppey, Iwade, Milton Regis and Sittingbourne, Monday to Friday on school days. The Leysdown and Warden sections of the route will be discontinued, but the 320 service will now serve Sheerness and Minster. All journeys will serve the rapidly-expanding Thistle Hill estate.

From September the 339 Hempstead Valley Shopper will operate on Tuesdays as well as Thursdays and will be extended to Medway Hospital and Chatham.  He said this would give people from the Island the opportunity to travel to Chatham and the hospital – importantly without changing buses.

Said Roland:  “Times for both of these services will alter so that they leave Sheerness slightly before 0930 before the concessionary passes are accepted.

“Anyone wishing to board in Sheerness before 0930 with a concessionary pass will be able to pay a reduced fare.

“Fares to Canterbury are reduced if someone buys the Adult Daily ticket – which we have already announced - that reduces from the current £8.30 to £6.”

The 322 service to Eastchurch Prisons will be slightly altered to go in and out of Sittingbourne via the Bobbing link road and Chalkwell Road.      

This will eliminate the need for a double deck bus to go under the low bridge near the station or via Crown Quay Lane.

He said the new timetables would be on the Chalkwell website in the next few days.

Added Roland:  “Information will be available in the next few days not only via our website, but through handouts for customers.”