Transport

Bus timetable changes

From Sunday 12 February, Stagecoach are launching a high-spec minibus service, branded ‘Little & Often’, which will provide buses every 5 or 6 minutes along routes serving the hospital, town centre/rail station, Kennington and Park Farm. At the same time as the new buses hit the road there will be a shake-up of the bus routes and timetables in the town – full details for buses running through South Ashford are shown below.

Route A

Some Monday to Saturday early morning and mid evening journeys will be slightly revised. Sunday morning and early evening journeys will be revised with buses running the same weekday route (during the daytime) serving Singleton, Arlington, the town centre, Stanhope and Bridewell every 30 minutes.

Route B

New ‘Little & Often’ minibuses will run up to every 6 minutes (during the daytime) Mondays to Saturdays, linking Kennington, the town centre, the rail station, Asda, Park Farm and Bridgefield*. During the evenings and on Sundays, minibuses will run up to every 15 minutes.

*Please note that until the new bridge (linking Park Farm and Bridgefield) opens, buses can only go as far as the roundabout connecting Bluebell Road and Reed Cresent. When the new bridge opens, buses will continue to and from Bridgefield.

Route G

Some Monday to Saturday mid afternoon and evening journeys will be revised. Sunday bus times will be improved to run every hour.

Route 2

The 22:05 Ashford to Tenterden (and Rolvenden) journey and the return 22:49 journey will no longer run following a review of Kent County Council bus funding.

Route 2A

Some Monday to Saturday journeys between Ashford and Tenterden will be revised to run via Park Farm serving Roman Way.

Stagecoach UK Bus 23 Jan 2017
www.stagecoachbus.com/service-updates/serviceupdatesarticle?SituationId=ID-23/01/2017-11:31:55:432

KCC Freight Action Plan Consultation

Freight Action Plan Front CoverFreight Action Plan for Kent

Kent County Council

Opens: 16 Jan 2017
Closes: 12 Mar 2017

Introduction

Kent is unique in its strategic location in the country as a gateway to mainland Europe. Despite the positive economic benefits road freight brings to the county and UK, the negative implications are felt across the county. The Freight Action Plan for Kent includes nationally and locally important priorities such as Operation Stack and the provision of overnight lorry parking as well as looking into HGV routeing and the powers that KCC can use to reduce the negative impacts of road freight. The plan incorporates a refresh of the original Freight Action Plan but brings it up to date with what we have already achieved and what we will plan and continue to do to mitigate the negative impacts of road freight in Kent. (more…)

Stagecoach Bus App available!

Stagecoach logoEverything you love about Stagecoachbus.com – in your pocket.

Stagecoach’s mobile App has all you need in one place – journey planning, live bus information in real time  and mobile bus tickets.

Now it’s even easier to find your nearest bus stop and plan your journey using your phone.

Here’s how the App makes bus travel even easier:

  • What’s nearby?  Set your location using your phone’s GPS to find the right buses, stops and routes for wherever you are.
  • Where do you want to go?  Use the journey planner to get from A to B with ease, including ticket options, walking directions and disruption updates.
  • Check live bus times so you know exactly when it will arrive, and once on the bus, follow your journey so you know exactly when to get off the bus.
  • Save your favourite buses, journeys and stops for even easier journey planning.
  • Say goodbye to paper tickets with mobile day tickets straight to your phone (only available in some areas at the moment). No need to worry about change – pay safely and securely using your card or PayPal and your tickets will be ready to use instantly on your phone. Simply activate your ticket when you’re ready to board and show it to the driver.

The Stagecoach Bus App is available free on the App Store (iPhone) and Google Play (Android). Click the  buttons below  to download, or search Stagecoach Bus  on the App Store or Google Play store.
download app storedownload google play

Stagecoach UK Bus
https://www.stagecoachbus.com/app?utm_source=homepage-carousel-&utm_medium=website&utm_content=ukb-site&utm_campaign=appmobileticketslaunch-2016nov-south-east-

Prepare your vehicle for bad weather

Snow CarIn this this fourth post on preparing for winter we have information from Brake on winter driving.

Be prepared

Even if you avoid setting off in dangerous weather conditions, you could get caught out, so be prepared by:

  • ensuring your vehicle is well-maintained through an up-to-date MOT, regular service, and regular walk-round checks by you.
  • regularly checking tyres to ensure they’re in good condition and have a tread depth of at least 3mm to be safe in the wet.
  • making sure there is anti-freeze in your radiator and windscreen washer bottle.
  • keeping an ice-scraper and de-icer in your vehicle at all times in winter.
  • packing a winter driving kit in case of emergency. This might include: a torch; cloths; a blanket and warm clothes; food and drink; first-aid kit; spade; warning triangle; and high-visibility vest.
  • always take a well-charged phone in case of emergencies, but don’t be tempted to use it when driving.

Car batteries are more likely to die in winter, so take steps to ensure yours doesn’t. If your car battery is old (more than five years) or there is sign of it struggling to start the car, get it checked by your garage and replaced if needed.

Clear ice, snow and condensation completely from your windscreen and all windows before setting off. Clear snow off the roof of your vehicle too, as it might fall and obscure your vision during your journey.

Check forecasts and plan your route carefully. In bad weather, major roads are more likely to be cleared and gritted. Allow plenty of time for potential hold-ups. The Met Office provides up to date forecasts, and issues warnings when severe weather is likely. (more…)

International Station parking changes

Rail logoBarriers being installed on the approach road to the the Eurostar terminal entrance at Ashford International Station are to be used as part of a new parking management system. The registration of all cars entering the station will be read by cameras. If a car is in the station for more than 20 minutes the exit barrier will not be lifted unless a parking fee has been paid at a machine in the Eurostar terminal building.

We understand drivers meeting passengers from either Eurostar, SouthEastern or Southern trains will not be charged unless they exceed the 20 minute free period. If delays occur on any services, the car park operator will be informed and free exit can be arranged via the assistance terminal at the exit gate.

Eat well and win £1000 to spend at Evans Cycles

Change4Life LogoHeart Breakfast’s James and Becky have teamed up with Kent County Council to support Change4Life, helping to keep families fit and eating healthy this winter and give you the chance to win £1,000 to spend on new bikes and accessories!

Change4Life is all about developing healthier eating habits – swapping naughty treats for healthy snacks, cutting down on sugar and trying to banish saturated fat.

So why not try and get lots of tasty fruit and veg into your diet this winter and make the family more active? Wrap up warm and head to the park, take the dog for a crisp morning walk, jump on your bikes at the weekends or have a kick about in the garden. Don’t be a couch potato this season, get outside and have fun!

Keep your eyes peeled for the Get Up And Go characters on TV too as they can help you and your whole family make small changes this winter – meaning when it comes to it, you’ll know how to make good choices.

Find out more here including healthy lunchbox ideas, fun ways to get active and more to get your family to Change4Life!

Win £1,000 to spend on Bikes and Accessories at Evans Cycles!

Watch Heart Breakfast’s James and Becky and vote for your favourite healthy recipe on the form below*, and you could be winning a whopping £1,000 to spend on bikes and accessories thanks to Evans Cycles in Maidstone!

https://promo.heart.co.uk/change4life/index.php

Improving access to Patient Transport

Improving access to non-emergency Patient TransportAshford Clinical Commissioning Group

Kent Clinical Commissioning Groups

Opens: 08 December 2016
Closes: 31 January 2017

Last year all NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), the GP-led organisations that plan and pay for health services across  Kent commissioned a new contractor to provide non-emergency Patient Transport.  At the same time patients and carers from across Kent helped to write a Patients’ charter setting out their expectations for how they wanted to see the service provide a high quality of care, and safely look after them in a quick and friendly way.

Now that the new contractor for non-emergency Patient Transport (G4S) service has been in place for 5 months, the Clinical commissioning groups across Kent in Ashford, Canterbury and Coastal, Dartford Gravesham and Swanley, Swale, South Kent Coast, Thanet and West Kent want to hear from you or your loved ones who have used the service since July 2016,  to see if it is living up to the Kent Patient Transport Service (PTS) patients’ charter.

Complete the survey

The CCGs would appreciate it if you could complete our survey. All the information you provide will remain confidential and be anonymised so that no health professionals will receive any information that identifies you personally.

They would like you to be as open as possible as we want to understand your experiences both good and bad so we can see where improvements may need to be made.  They are hopeful that there will be some good points and compliments to tell us.

This survey will close on  31  January 2017 

If you have any queries please contact: engagement.secsu@nhs.net or call 03000424348

NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group 08 December 2016
www.ashfordccg.nhs.uk/news/blog/?blogpost=9280

MoJ consult on sentences for dangerous drivers

Ministry of Justice LogoDriving offences and penalties relating to causing death or serious injury

Ministry of Justice

Opens 5 December 2016
Closes: 1 February 2017

Dangerous drivers who kill are set to face life sentences, under plans put forward by ministers.

  • Government acts to introduce life sentences for causing death by dangerous driving
  • Life sentences for careless drivers who kill whilst under the influence of drink or drugs
  • New, 3 year jail terms for careless drivers causing serious injury

Dangerous drivers who kill are set to face life sentences, under plans put forward by ministers.

Dangerous drivers causing death by speeding, street racing or while on a mobile phone are among those now facing the same sentences as those charged with manslaughter.

Offenders who cause death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs could also be handed life sentences – an increase on the current 14 year upper limit.

New plans come as ministers seek to deter dangerous, criminal behaviour on our roads, and make sure killer drivers face the toughest penalties. (more…)

Sustainable

Everyone – I’ll minimise the amount I drive, or not drive at all. I’ll get about by walking, cycling or public transport as much as I can, for road safety, the environment and my health.

Driver advice: sustainable

#brakepledge
#roadsafetyweek

Why go eco?

By choosing sustainable travel, we can all help to reduce the road safety, public health, environmental and economic costs to society of our over-reliance on cars. Fewer cars on the road mean fewer road deaths and injuries, less congestion, less emissions and more pleasant, sociable communities.

Whether it’s doing the school run on foot or bike, walking to the local shop instead of driving to the supermarket, or taking public transport to work instead of driving, incorporating active and sustainable travel into your routine can be really simple, and it’s a great way to stay active, save money, and do your bit for the environment.

Use Brake’s carbon footprint calculator to see the environmental impact of your driving.
Share their interactive resource to spread the ‘Drive less, live more’ message. 

Do you need to drive?

GO20-Cars

Two-thirds (64%) of all UK journeys and 40% of journeys less than two miles are made by car, many of which could be made on foot or bike, or by public transport. While each trip may not seem like much, it all adds up to a lot of unnecessary car use.

For each journey you make by car, ask yourself if there’s a more sustainable and healthy option. If it’s a short journey, could you walk or cycle? You can use Sustrans’ website to explore walking and cycling routes in your area and work out the safest, most pleasant way to get to your destination on foot or bike. Get into the habit of leaving the car at home for these shorter journeys and you’ll spend less money on petrol and feel healthier for the exercise – plus you’ll be helping to make your area a nicer, less polluted place.

For longer journeys could you take a bus, train or coach instead? If you book in advance, the cost of tickets can often work out cheaper than what you’d spend on petrol and you can sit back and relax without the stress of driving. You can look up public transport options by region at www.traveline.info/.

Commuting

If you drive to and from work, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to switch to a sustainable commute, which may be quicker, cheaper, healthier and less stressful. Research shows that people who commute by walking and cycling better able to concentrate and are less stressed. Look online at your local travel information to see what sustainable transport options you have, including bus routes, train services and safe cycle paths.

If you want to cycle to work but don’t own a bike, find out if your employer participates in the government’s Cycle to Work initiative, which allows you to purchase a new bike (and related equipment like cycle paths) tax-free, and pay monthly straight from your salary. If they aren’t signed up to the scheme, direct a relevant member of staff to details of the benefits to employers and encourage them to sign up. Read Brake’s advice on cycling.

Safe cycling

GO20Cyclist

Cycling is healthy, low-cost and environmentally friendly way to travel. Go to Brake’s cycling advice pages for further information on how to keep safe while cycling.

If you have to drive

If there are journeys that you have to make by car, there are some simple steps you can take to minimise the negative impacts of this on you and the people around you:

  • Make the Brake Pledge, a simple six point pledge to help keep you and others safe on the road and prevent needless tragedies.
  • Keep to a lower speed and avoid harsh braking and acceleration to produce fewer emissions and improve fuel efficiency. In particular, slow down to 20mph or below in built up areas, even where the speed limit is 30. It’s unlikely to affect your journey time significantly, but it will mean your car is less polluting because there is less speeding up and slowing down, and  it will mean you’re helping to make roads safer for people on foot and bike. See our advice on speed.
  • The same principle applies on faster roads. For each 5mph you drive over 60mph, you use 7% more fuel. Slower is not only safer, but it’s better for the environment and will save you money on petrol
  • Plan your journeys more efficiently. If you have a number of errands to do or journeys to make, can they be combined into the same trip? Make sure you still allow plenty of time for driving at safe, slow speeds, possible hold-ups, and breaks every two hours.
  • Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained. A well maintained vehicle produces fewer emissions and is more fuel efficient. Simple things like keeping your tyres well inflated, cleaning or replacing dirty air and fuel filters, and regularly changing your oil can improve fuel efficiency. Read our advice on vehicle maintenance.

Brake driver advice: sustainable
www.brake.org.uk/schools-communities/make-the-brake-pledge/27-whats-happening/1285-driver-advice-sustainable

Sharp

rsw16sharpDrivers – I’ll stay focussed on safe driving. I’ll take regular breaks and never drive if I’m tired, stressed or on medication that affects driving. I’ll get my eyes tested every two years and wear glasses or lenses at the wheel if I need them.

Everyone – I’ll look out for friends and loved ones by ensuring they only drive if they’re fit for it, and rest if they’re tired.

Driver advice: fatigue

#brakepledge
#roadsafetyweek (more…)