Since Chalkwell started operating the 360/361/362/367 Island Buses network in July 2021 we have been delighted with the amount of positive community engagement, and we have seen steady growth with people returning to buses after the pandemic. However, we have also seen considerable increases in our costs of operation, such as fuel, wages and vehicle parts.
We need to make some relatively minor changes to these services in order to address some of the cost issues, ensuring the commercial viability of the bus network. In order to do so, we want to inconvenience as few people as possible so that our customer numbers can continue to grow.
Another factor is that KCC are withdrawing some of their supported bus funding, which has an impact on what we do.
The vast majority of the network is unaffected, however he following changes will come into effect from 13th February 2023:
- The Sunday and Bank Holiday 360/361 service will be withdrawn. This is currently paid for by KCC, who are stopping their subsidy. Please contact your local KCC councillor if this affects you.
- The 367 from Warden Point is withdrawn due to low usage. Customers from Eastchurch can use the 360 service, and those from the Minster area can use the 360 or the Arriva 334 service.
- The 1545, 1645 and 1745 360 departures from Sheerness will be replaced by two journeys, at 1615 and 1715, with corresponding returns from Leysdown.
- There is an additional departure from Warden Bay at 0844 to allow for earlier journeys towards Sheerness.
- The 361 journey at 1415 is withdrawn due to low usage.
- The 362 journeys at 0825 and 0855 is witdrawn due to low usage, as is the 1555 non school day journey.
- The 362 will operate every 30 minutes Monday to Friday, and hourly every Saturday.
- The first 360 journeys at 0557 from Leysdown and 0655 from Sheerness are not being withdrawn, but will operate at 0602 and 0640 respectively.
We aim to have full timetables published in the week of 9th January so that customers can view the full range of journeys. These will be on our website initially, and later in hard copies.
In addition to this, Chalkwell are participating in a Governement scheme, with all single bus fare journeys capped at a maximum £2 until the end of March. Getting around by bus is even better value than before.