New Bus Depot Will Mean Improved Service for Southborough, says Arriva

The Arriva bus company says its new Tunbridge Wells bus depot will start operation in January, helping to overcome problems with many bus services through Southborough in recent weeks.

Steve Leonard (pictured below), who is Arriva’s General Manager in Tunbridge Wells, spoke to Southborough News at the new depot site, which is currently being built near John Lewis on the North Farm industrial estate.

Bus crop

Since the closure of Arriva’s old depot in St. John’s in the autumn, many buses have had to be stored overnight in Maidstone or at a temporary site in Tonbridge, causing considerable logistical difficulties.

The new Tunbridge Wells depot (pictured below on 8th December) will be fitted out with the latest equipment, provide offices for Arriva staff from around the region and have space for any expansion of bus routes.


Mr Leonard said:  “With the new depot about to come online, work is already starting on revising the network to see what can be done to improve journeys and services. One of these issues is to see if we can reschedule services to see improvements such as more 402 services through Southborough at peak times.”


Mr Leonard said Arriva was examining ways to meet the demands of both schools and the general public at peak times. He said Arriva would consult widely before making any changes, which would take some time.  And before any changes are implemented, 56 days notice has to be given to the traffic commissioner’s office in Leeds.

The picture above shows the side of the depot which will house the Arriva staff offices, which is not expected to be finished for several weeks after the buses start to be housed in the new garage opposite (shown in top picture).

Mr Leonard said all options were being considered to improve routes, including improved ticket machines with contactless payment to speed up services that are currently slowed down by customers paying by cash.

He said “we need to rebuild trust” but he was hopeful that the opening of the new depot would be the start of significant improvements for customers and future customers.

Here are the current Monday to Friday services…
From SOUTHBOROUGH (Fountain stop by Victoria Rd) to Tonbridge:

0606, 0632m, 0646, 0651m
0715m, 0726, 0732m, (0740h, 0752k), 0755m
0812m, 0837m
0906m, 0916, 0926m, 0936, 0946m, 0956
and 6 buses at same times every hour until
1406m, 1416, 1424m, 1436, 1444m
1505m, 1525m, 1545m, 1551, 1555m
(1602w, 1605x) 1612m, 1627, 1631m, 1652m
1719m, 1727, 1739m, 1747, 1759m
1807, 1827m, 1831
1901, 1903m, 1924, 1942m, 1959
2008m, 2038m
2108m, 2138m

m indicates the number 7 service to and from Maidstone

School days only buses:
h indicates a 582 bus along the A26 to Hugh Christie School
k indicates a 229 Seaford bus service to Weald of Kent, which turns right up Pembury Rd
w indicates a 77 bus only on school days
x indicates a 502 bus only on school days

Other services are 402 running from Tunbridge Wells to Sevenoaks via Hildenborough

Here is the Monday to Friday service for returning London commuters (and Tonbridge people wanting to work in Southborough or Tunbridge Wells)…
From TONBRIDGE Quarry Hill to Southborough / Tunbridge Wells:

0607, 0621m, 0640, 0651m
0715m, 0730m, (0742b, 0753s, 0755a, 0758c)
0800, 0805m, 0834m, 0857m
0912m, 0931m, 0945m, 0947, 0957m
1007, 1017m, 1027, 1037m, 1047, 1057m
and 6 buses at same times every hour until
1507, 1517m, 1537m, 1558m
1620m, 1631, 1643m
1702m, 1724m, 1727, 1744m, 1758
1803m, 1812, 1821m, 1839m, 1857
1902m, 1918, 1929m, 1938, 1956, 1959m
2023, 2029m, 2045, 2059m
2123, 2159m

School days only buses:
b is 502 to Bennett Memorial School
s is 147 to Tunbridge Wells
a is 147 to Bennett Memorial School
c is 77 to Bennett Memorial School

One thought on “New Bus Depot Will Mean Improved Service for Southborough, says Arriva

  1. Judy Cave

    Good news if all goes to plan. It could be miserable during the winter weather for people waiting for buses that are late or full . Short route buses such as the Rusthall-High Brooms one could operate between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells rather than to and from Maidstone etc would make for a more reliable service during school and peak hours


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