New Spring Arriva Timetable Suggests Fewer Late Buses from Tonbridge

Bus users need to look out for changes to the timetable from Monday for the services that run along the A26 from Southborough to Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.

The bus firm says the Spring changes are aiming mainly to sort out school transport congestion. Arriva says it is still examining the service on the A26 for commuters at peak times and is looking to see how improvements could be made in the future.

The latest information suggests little overall change, although there do appear to be fewer buses for anyone arriving at Tonbridge station after 8.30pm and hoping to get back to Southborough. Some extra services do appear to have been scheduled for those travelling around 5pm back from Tonbridge.

The solid regular service every ten minutes in the middle of the day continues, although the 402 services will now stop at Sevenoaks bus station, rather than continuing onto Dunton Green. 402 times have been adjusted as a result. The 7 services continue to serve Maidstone with almost unchanged times.

Two main problems that deter bus use still seem to be in evidence:
(1) Poor Service at peak rush hour –  There is still a 25 minute gap in the morning service from Southborough to Tonbridge between 8.10am and 8.35.
(2) Scarcity of buses in early mornings and late evenings – There are only three buses now after 8.30pm from Tonbridge to Southborough at 8.59pm, 9.59 and 10.59.  Services previously at 8.45pm and 9.23pm appear to have been cancelled.

Here are the new Monday to Friday services…
m indicates the 7 to/from Maidstone; others are 402 to Sevenoaks via Hildenborough

From SOUTHBOROUGH (Sheffield Road) to Tonbridge:

0618, 0631m, 0643, 0650m
0714m, 0720, 0731m, (0739h, 0751k), 0753m
0810m, 0835m, 0854
0905m, 0915, 0925m, 0935, 0945m, 0955
and 6 buses at same times every hour until
1405m, 1415, 1423m, 1435, 1443m, 1455
1504m, 1515, 1524m, 1544m, 1548z, 1551, 1553m
(1600w, 1604x) 1610m, 1629m, 1631, 1650m
1701, 1717m, 1728, 1737m, 1744, 1757m
1811, 1826m, 1841
1902m, 1910, 1941m
2007m, 2037m
2107m, 2137m
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 77B bus
x indicates a 402B bus
z indicates a 147 bus


From TONBRIDGE Quarry Hill to Southborough / Tunbridge Wells:

0621m, 0632, 0651m
0715m, 0730m, (0740b, 0742b, 0753s, 0755a, 0758c)
0805m, 0834m, 0847, 0857m
0907, 0912m, 0927, 0931m, 0945m, 0947, 0957m
1007, 1017m, 1027, 1037m, 1047, 1057m
and 6 buses at same times every hour until
(1505h), 1507, 1517m, 1537m, 1558m
1603, 1620m, 1634, 1643m, 1657
1702m, 1717, 1724m, 1737, 1744m, 1757
1803m, 1814, 1821m, 1833, 1839m, 1853
1902m, 1913, 1929m, 1943, 1959m
2013, 2029m, 2059m
School days only buses:
b is 402B to Bennett Memorial School
s is 147 to Tunbridge Wells
a is 147B to Bennett Memorial School
c is 77 to Bennett Memorial School

Snowbound Southborough in the Sun!

Southborough began the month of March 2018 covered in a beautiful blanket of snow.  Five inches fell on Tuesday in what appears to be the biggest snowfall for seven years.


The picture above was taken in a sunny spell around 8am on Wednesday as I walked along the A26 from Soouthborough to Tonbridge station.


Most schools were closed and Friday’s refuse collection was abandoned.


The main routes were successfully cleared despite further snowfalls.  But – with temperatures remaining below freezing – on Friday morning, most residential roads were still covered in compacted snow and ice and therefore remained very slippery.

Below are more pictures from Wednesday morning taken in Pennington Road.







A partial bus service did restart on Wednesday, having failed to operate on Tuesday morning. The trains to London kept operating despite the freezing conditions – at least until Friday when a further snowfall caused major disruption for anyone trying to return from London.  A rapid thaw on Saturday 3 March caused all the snow to vanish – normality returned…