Latest Bus Update
10th September 2015
Latest Bus Update from local resident and bus expert David Toser
Since bus route 403 was withdrawn in April, Eynsford has had to rely on just four buses a day linking the village with Sevenoaks and Swanley. As from 2 September many of these services will run between 5 and 15 minutes earlier than previously. On Mondays to Saturdays buses on route 421 will now leave Eynsford (Five Bells) for Sevenoaks at 10:03, 11:43, 13:28 and 14:58 and for Swanley at 09:32, 11:09, 12:59 and 14:26; returning from Sevenoaks Bus Stn. at 10:40, 12:30 and 14:05, and from Swanley, Bartholomew Way at 09:50, 11:30, 13:15 and 14:45.
For the present, Route 429 continues to run on Sundays leaving Eynsford Station at 09:00, 11:00, 13:00 and 15:30 for Swanley, Dartford, Darent Valley Hospital and Bluewater, returning from Bluewater at 10:05, 12:05, 14:35 and 16:35 and from Darent Valley Hospital 6 minutes later; Dartford Market Street 13 minutes later and Swanley 38 minutes later.
Both these services are operated by Go Coach Hire based in Sevenoaks, who have announced that from 3 September they will also run a bus (Route 403) from Tonbridge to Bluewater through Eynsford and Farningham to Bluewater, but only every Monday and Thursday, leaving Eynsford (Five Bells) at 10:30 and returning from Bluewater at 13:45. This bus will run direct from Farningham to Darent Valley Hospital and Bluewater (without going through Swanley or Dartford) taking just 25 minutes to Bluewater. The bus is due to leave Darent Valley Hospital on the return journey at 13:48.
Surprisingly, a new bus company, County Connect (Kent), based in Sidcup, have announced that they will also start running services on 3 September from Tonbridge, Sevenoaks and West Kingsdown to Bluewater once a week. The only one of these serving Eynsford will be Route 415 operating on Thursdays from West Kingsdown, to Eynsford Station, then Farningham, Sutton at Hone, Dartford town centre, Darent Valley Hospital, Bluewater and on to Gravesend. This is due to leave Eynsford Station at 09:44 and return from Gravesend Station at 13:20; Bluewater at 13:40; Darent Valley Hospital at 13:46 and Dartford Market Street at 13:55.
The surprise is not that two new bus services are being launched in September (although only running a couple of days a week), but that County Connect should have also decided to run their service on a Thursday, leaving Eynsford about 45 minutes earlier than Go Coach's service and returning from Bluewater just five minutes before their rival's bus. Could this mean that these companies just don't communicate with each other or that a "bus war" is about to start. Either way, it seems likely that one, or possibly both, these two new services will fail as I can't see why Thursday should be favoured with two buses to and from Bluewater within a few minutes of each other, with nothing for the next three days!