< Malling Action Partnership, < MAP Transport and Accessibility group

This document addresses the questions raised in the Transport Snapshot section of the Rural Towns Health Check appertaining to West Malling, and it’s Hinterland, for the Malling Action Partnership (MAP).

Malling Action Partnership Transport Introduction Edit

  • section 1

In keeping with the consideration that this report is an initial snapshot, the data has been collected from the most easily available sources eg Web Sites, Promotional Literature; Transport surveys from the last few years; and simple observation and anecdotal input.

Hence, absolute up to date accuracy may have been traded against speedily getting a debate underway. However it is anticipated that the full Transport Healthcheck, can build on outcome of the initial debate. In particular, using a more rigorous data quality assessment; undertaking surveys of the hinterland transport issues; etc will provide a more comprehensive picture view of the MAP Area Transport System.

Number of bus stations Edit

  • section 2

West Malling doesn’t have a bus station as such, but the wide “market area” in the High Street, opposite Tesco, provides a useful turning point for buses and serves as the main calling point for Arriva (01622 697000) and Nu-Venture (01622 882288) local bus services linking the town with Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells, Borough Green, Chatham, Kings Hill and intermediate destinations.

Number of train stations Edit

  • section 3

West Malling's rail station also serves the neighbouring areas. Housing and business developments in the West Malling hinterland (particularly Kings Hill) has resulted in this station having one of the highest passenger growth rates in the South East. Rail timetable information from the train operator - 08457 484950.

However, the shortage of parking at the station has resulted in commuters resorting to using other nearby stations (e.g. Borough Green) as an alternative.

The recent “dualling" of the A228 West Malling/Leybourne By-pass provides access directly to the station for buses and taxis, coupled with future provision for 250 more parking spaces. This will undoubtedly change the dynamics of the station usage.

The PBA (1) report of January 2004 regarding the West Malling Railway Station South Side Master Plan Study advised that a further 215 car parking spaces would suffice till 2011 and that a significant portion of current and future could potentially transfer to the bypass link road providing relief to West Malling and specifically Swan Street.

Number of coach parks Edit

  • section 4

There is no coach park facility in West Malling. The lack of this facility could impact on any programme to develop tourism further in the area.

It is suggested that a small part of the existing Manor Park car park might be utilised for this purpose. Such a proposition would need appropriate agreement with Kent County Council who administer the park.

Percentage of households without a car Edit

  • section 5

Data obtained via Kent County Council shows proportions for West Malling are higher, than for the Borough as a whole, the County and the region (although lower than the national figure which will be heavily influenced by figures for urban areas).

This is consistent with the Population profile of the town (for example more older people). Unsurprisingly adjacent rural areas such as Offham may have a much lower proportion of households without a car.

(see note on discussion page)

Parking in West Malling Edit

  • section 6

This initial data was taken from the PBA Local Parking Study conducted in 2003.

West Malling         Legal Parking        Disabled
Location	         Spaces	           Bays
 "Tesco" Short            126	             9
 Term Car park	  
 Central "On Street"	  165	             0
 Central "Residential"	  168	             1
 "New Town"	          555	             1

 Town Hill Long Term	  100	             2

TOTALS	                 1114	            13

Number of short-stay car parking spaces in the town Edit

  • section 6.1

This study identified 126 Parking spaces in “Tesco Car Park”, with on street parking easily accessible to visitors / shoppers in the “central town area” (High St; King St; Swan St; Tower Hill) accounting for a further 165 places.

The “New Town” mainly residential area, accounted for area a further 555 spaces and other residential areas including Churchfields; Meadow Bank; Neville Court; Frog Lane; Ryarsh Lane providing a further 168 spaces.

So short stay parking spaces in total were 1014 in this PBA study. There has been some degree of optimisation of parking spaces, due to the more recent introduction of a 20mph limit. This system uses parked vehicles as an integral part of the traffic calming measures. However, the nett change in short term parking is probably of the order of 20 to 30 places, but these changes will be validated in the full Healthcheck Study.

A residents and “long term” business parking permit scheme is in operation, and whilst there are no parking fees both the long term, short stay and most of the central area spaces do have time limits, enforced by parking wardens. A summer 2007 consultaion is expected to see proposals advanced in due course for moving to a charging regime in car parks.

Number of long-stay car parking spaces in the town Edit

  • section 6.2

The “Town Hill” long term car park accounted for 100 spaces in the PBA 2003 study. This number has not materially changed in the intervening period.

Number of disabled car parking spaces in the townEdit

  • section 6.3

A total of 13 disabled parking bays was reported in the 2003 study, there have been a handful of changes in this number with the advent of the 20MPH scheme.

Other parking spaces close to town Edit

  • Section 6.4

The Manor Park in St Leonards St. has a relatively small car park estimated at 25 to 35 spaces about 600 yards from the Town Centre.

Parking at W Malling Stn, about 500 yards from the centre, is subject to charges.

Neither of these seems to have any significant contribution to easing West Malling Parking limitations.

Parking SummaryEdit

  • section 6.5

This topic remains a “hot issue” for both residents and the businesses that rely on visitors to the town. There is no simple solution, as there is no easily identifiable location, and a large cash injection would be needed to introduce additional parking via “stacking, multistory” approaches.

Number of cycle paths Edit

  • section 7

There are no cycle paths in the West Malling area at present although it is understood that one will be designated from Kings Hill to West Malling station along the A228 route {need a cross ref here to environment group findings to synthesize)


Bus operators serving W Malling and its hinterland.

NU-VENTURE.CO.UK - 01622 882288

Nu-Venture 53 West Peckham-Mereworth-Kings Hill- West Malling Tu & Fri

Nu-Venture 58 Trottiscliffe-Ryarsh-Birling-West and East Malling- Maidstone/Hospital Mon-Sat daytimes

Nu-Venture 123 Kings Hill- West Malling - West Malling Station M-F not late evenings. Service is synchronized with the Train arrivals and departures. Full timetable at

The annual train time change is on 9 December this year.

Some trains serving West Malling are slightly retimed so, as a result, Nu-Venture's bus timetable has a few changes to try to ensure that trains and the 'Kings Hill Shuttle' 123 buses continue to connect wherever practicable.

New bus times start Monday 10 December

For train times call 08457 484950.

ARRIVA.CO.UK - 01622 697000

ARRIVA 70 to 76 Maidstone via Maidstone West Station - London Road - Allington - Ditton - Larkfield - East Malling - West Malling - Offham/Borough Green/Kings Hill M-S (Daytime)
ARRIVA 575 SCHOOL SERVICE FROM Wrotham - Maidstone Schools via Borough Green - Kings Hill - West Malling - Leybourne - East Malling - Snodland - Lunsford Park - Larkfield - Oakwood Park - Maidstone town centre - Maidstone Boys' Grammar School
ARRIVA 77 Tunbridge Wells - Southborough - Tonbridge - Hadlow - Mereworth - Kings Hill/West Malling daily, extended Sundays via A20 to Maidstone
ARRIVA 151 Chatham via Chatham Rail Station - Rochester - Strood - Cuxton - Halling - Snodland - West Malling - Kings Hill Daily - not late evenings

Journey times by car and public transport to nearest large town or city Edit

  • Section 10

This section compares CAR; BUS and TRAIN journeys to major shopping destinations

Average Journey Times From West Malling Minutes

To Location	    Distance   CAR    Train    Bus
                     Miles	         #       ~

London Victoria         36	56	50     -
Maidstone East	        10	16	9	30
Tunbridge Wells         19	26	-	60
Bluewater - Dartford	23	26	-	-

Notes on the data above

Information was derived from INTERNET SOURCES 

For the purposes of this Snapshot no account has been taken of following  
Time not included for:-
# Journey & Wait Times to get from West Malling to the Station 
~ Connection Time waiting for changing buses

References Edit

  1. West Malling Railway Station South Side Master Plan Study, PBA, January 2004 : (need more detail of name, rather than just initials, plus possible link to website?)