Stagecoach is adjusting timetables on some Ashford bus routes in order to counter the impact of the town’s escalating traffic congestion. Timetables on routes B and C will benefit from extra buses to help maintain an even frequency and reduce the risk of late running. There will also be extra recovery time built in to ensure buses leave on schedule. Timetables on routes A and D will also be adjusted.
The company says that journey times in Ashford have increased in recent years due to more traffic on the roads and slower average road speeds. Route C buses have been particularly affected with journeys between the hospital and town centre taking up to 50 per cent longer at peak times, compared to 2009.
“As Ashford expands and develops, so too have the demands on the road transport infrastructure” says Matthew Arnold, Stagecoach commercial director for the south east region. “We know from our own monitoring that some peak-time journeys in Ashford are taking up to 50 per cent longer than they did a decade ago. More and more traffic and slower road speeds are to blame which is also affecting air quality.”
Stagecoach points out that another problem in the town has been sporadic and variable congestion caused by road works and road closures.
“Unfortunately it’s very difficult to plan for this but we can make changes that help our services become more resilient to these conditions and cope better with the general rise in congestion,” adds Arnold.
“We’re doing this by pulling in some additional resource (this includes extra buses) without any financial support from outside Stagecoach. We hope these changes will make a real difference to the reliability of our services, but we continue to call upon local authorities to act to reduce congestion, improve traffic flow and encourage a shift to sustainable transport.”