What the Tatsfield Parish Magazine said

Tatsfield Parish Magazine

The two page article and poem below appeared in the Tatsfield Parish Magazine for October 1999. The full text of the article is reproduced on the right >>

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PERSONAL VIEW

THE 411 CATERHAM TO TUNBRIDGE WELLS BUS - 'THE HAPPY BUS' By Lesley Huggett

Early in 1998 I was delighted to find that the 411 bus from Caterham ran every Wednesday to Tunbridge Wells, stopping at Warlingham, Tatsfield, Westerham, Sevenoaks, Hildenborough, Tonbridge and Southborough.

The ten or more regular passengers were like a happy family - very friendly, laughing and chatting. The svenic route was enjoyed by everyone - some getting off at Sevenoaks or Tonbridge, although most of us elected to spend the time in beautiful Tunbridge Wells. A rover ticket (4.50 return or 2.50 with a bus pass) allowed travel on any bus for the day.

Unfortunately, due to health problems I was out of circulation from November 1998 until late August 1999. I was devastated to learn that the service was being discontinued as from 4th September, travelling only between Caterham and Oxted.

Apparently the bus company Arriva had decided to discontinue either the Tunbridge Wells bus or the East Surrey hospital bus The latter runs 8 times a day, while the former runs only once a week. In the event, the Tunbridge Wells bus was cut out, and the 8.05 bus from the hospital to Oxted has been dropped (leaving 7 buses daily).

I immediately wrote to Peter Ainsworth M.P. and Ronald Allen - a District Councillor from Warlingham - giving all the reasons why this bus should continue to run. I pointed out that the government was continually pressing people to use public transport. How was this possible when the service was constantly being reduced and buses withdrawn? Tatsfield is in a remote situation, and the places accessible by bus for visits or shopping are becoming fewer every year. There is no direct service to Bromley, and Croydon is difficult too.

As a direct result of my letters, I expect to hear from the Transport Manager of the area - also from Arriva bus company and Surrey County Council. Alan Edwards (who wrote the poem which follows) is a keen bus enthusiast, and has written items for the County Border News and the Caterham Mirror.

We all hope that Arriva will reinstate this excellent bus service, and that more people from Tatsfield will be encouraged to make more use of it.

The poem is available for viewing, if you haven't read it already, at 411ode.html