Worksheet T2 Ease of access to services

Task: to identify how easy it is for people to get around the area. Getting the following information will help to show how easy or difficult it is to use public transport to get to key services in the area.

Part 1 Timetabling and accessibility of public transport Edit

Q 1 Information points:

  • Where are the public transport information points?
  • What is the quality of the information offered?

Method Ask, for example, if there are there multi-mode timetables at bus stops and rail stations, and if special services (such as Dial-A-Ride) are widely advertised or actively promoted?

Starting points for information

  • Rural Transport Partnership
  • Bus and train operators
  • County Council transport department

Note (Worksheets EN1 Q9; EC7 Q7,15; S3 Q1,4 also refer to public transport)

West Malling Train Station – is manned from early morning to early evening which provides a good enquiry service for rail travellers; outside these hours timetables and route maps are displayed. The railway company also publishes train timetable booklets every 6 months.

West Malling Library - open business hours Tuesday to Friday and Saturday AM stocks several Bus & Train Timetables.

Bus Stops in West Malling (Some) and also in the Offham & Mereworth Outlying Villages, display legible timetables for local services but provide no other information displayed except for contact details for service operator.

Telephone (and Internet) Enquiries publicised by transport groups

  • National Rail enquiry service on 08457 48 49 50
  • NuVenture Bus: (01622) 882288
  • Arriva Bus: 0871 200 22 33

Definite need for an integrated Travel Guide – most people at public consultations are unaware of which buses run where, therefore do not even try to use public transport

Q 2 Are bus and train times from outlying villages to the town convenient for getting to and from work and school?

Method Compile a table showing bus and train times during the day. Note when first and last services of the day are.

Starting points for information

  • Bus and train timetables
  • District council

Note (Worksheets EC1 Q2; EC4 Q14,17; EC7 Q7 also refer to travel. Worksheets EN1 Q9; EC7 Q7,15; S3 Q1,4 also refer to public transport)

West Malling Railway Station – provides a frequent, mostly every half hour but more often in rush hour; to several London Termini (First Train 06:13 Last 23:54) and to County Town Maidstone (First Train 07:05 Last 22:38)

Outlying Villages:- Bus Services are good, except for the villages of Mereworth and Offham.

Q 3 What times are the last Friday and Saturday night bus services from the town to villages in the surrounding countryside?

Starting points for information

  • Local bus operators

Q 4. What special public and private transport services are there for people who are less able?

  1. For example, bus, taxi, or alternative community or voluntary transport.

Starting points for information

  • County Council
  • Bus operators
  • Rural Transport Partnerships

Note (Worksheets EC7 Q8; S3 Q7,9; S3 Q5 also refer to disability issues)

West Malling
  • West Malling Taxis have minibus with disabled access;
  • Age Concern have minibus with disabled access for travel to day centre only

Outlying Villages

  • Mereworth: Compaid (pre-bookable only); West Malling Taxis have minibus with disabled access; Age Concern minibus.
  • Offham: Taxi; Age Concern mini bus

Q 5. Where are the less able (for example, people who use a wheelchair or walking aid) disadvantaged in using public transport?

Method Compare public transport routes that have accessible buses/trains with the total number of routes.

Starting points for information

  • District council (ask for Access Officers)
  • Specific surveys

Note (Worksheets EC7 Q8; S3 Q7,9; S3 Q5 also refer to disability issues)

Mereworth: All buses have entry platform drops to kerb height.

Offham: Special buses not provided.

Q 6. What are the walking distances from the main bus set down/pick up places to the focal point of the town centre?

Starting points for information

  • Route maps from the bus operators
  • Measuring the distance directly from a map
  • Quick ‘on the ground’ surveys

Note (Worksheets EN1 Q10; EN3 Q7; EC7 Q13,14 also refer to pedestrian access)

West Malling – Most places within walking distances of bus set-down

Outlying Villages

  • Mereworth: 800m – 1km
  • Offham: Minimal

Q 7 . How does travelling from the villages to the town by car compare to using public transport for going to the:


  • secondary school
  • job centre
  • supermarket
  • library
  • leisure/sports centre
  • cinema

Method Pick three rural settlements that have poor, adequate and good public transport links.

For each of these describe the journeys in terms of: journey time (including waiting times for public transport)

  • directness of service or number of changes
  • number of different types of transport used
  • timetabling difficulties (for example. when the *journey can not be made by public transport)
  • car parking at the destination

Starting points for information

  • Local survey of the location of facilities
  • Bus and train timetables
  • Route maps
  • Surveys of travel times

Note (Worksheets EC1 Q2; EC4 Q14,17; EC7 Q7 also refer to travel. Worksheets EN1 Q9; EC7 Q7,15; S3 Q1,4 also refer to public transport)

Outlying Villages


  • No direct access to Maidstone of Kent and Sussex Hospitals by bus or train.
  • Bus access to Tonbridge and Maidstone secondary schools near town centres only.
  • Jobcentre – Near Maidstone town centre, by bus and walking.
  • Supermarket – Asda at Kings Hill by bus or foot, Tesco at West Malling by bus or foot also.

Offham Example


These two villages are the exception in the area – it could be argued that West Malling is not the natural market town for Mereworth as it on the direct route into Maidstone and Hadlow.

Q 8. What are the planned changes to rural public transport services that will improve services where the demand exists?

Method Compare any planned changes such as new routes/discontinued routes or increased/decreased frequencies.

Starting points for information

  • Local Transport Plan
  • Bus and train operators