Sadness over Arriva’s withdrawal of Maidstone P&R
Arriva UK Bus is to withdraw the Maidstone Park and Ride service next year. It will cease operation on 19 February 2022.
Arriva reports it has worked closely with Maidstone Borough Council to try and avoid this action by exploring a number of options. However, a solution could not be found and the service will stop next year.
“…the passenger numbers have significantly fallen which has resulted in the service being no longer financially viable” – Arriva
A statement from the operator said: “Before the pandemic, the service carried both commuters and leisure passengers, but with the huge reduction in commuter movements to and from the town, as well as the reduction in day trippers, the passenger numbers have significantly fallen which has resulted in the service being no longer financially viable.”
Michael Jennings, Area Head of Commercial – Kent, Surrey and Essex, said “I would like to thank all of our Park and Ride customers and our dedicated Park and Ride team who have been amazing throughout the difficult times associated with the pandemic. Myself and the rest of the team have done everything we can to keep us from having to make this difficult decision, but unfortunately it has not been possible on this occasion.”
“…passengers have not returned to use the service and numbers have not met pre-pandemic levels which has made it very difficult for Arriva” – Cllr Paul Cooper, MBC Chairman of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee
Maidstone Borough Council said it is sad to learn of the withdrawal of the service. Cllr Paul Cooper, Maidstone Borough Council’s Chairman of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee, said: “We are very disappointed that Arriva will no longer provide this service, however, we do understand how difficult it has been for Arriva with the reduction of passengers since the beginning of the pandemic.
“We know that there has been a modest increase in the number of people using the service as lockdown restrictions initially lifted however, passengers have not returned to use the service and numbers have not met pre-pandemic levels which has made it very difficult for Arriva.
“We understand how hard it has been for any business trying to survive in these very unusual circumstances and one which none of us could have predicted. The Council has facilitated the Park and Ride service as much as we possibly could prior to and throughout Covid but understands why Arriva has made the decision to withdraw the service.”