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Brighter bus station re-opens at Mall Shopping Centre

Another 'jewel in the crown' of the county town of Maidstone


Maidstone Bus Station has re-opened and is welcoming customers back to a safer, brighter and refurbished space with new fire safety equipment, improved CCTV and lighting. Bus services are expected to resume later this month but no exact date has been given.

The new look station has been modernised and the area opened up by removing glass block walls, installing new public wayfinding signage, street furniture, benches and service information boards which will contribute to increasing the safety of customers.  The new facilities will also improve the vitality and viability of the county town, providing a modern and well cared-for place with excellent public transport facilities.

Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) has worked with Kent County Council, Arriva, NuVenture and the owners of the Mall Shopping Centre to refurbish and improve the bus station. Pedestrian access to the bus station resumed two days ago.

Deputy mayor – Cllr Derek Mortimer cuts the opening tape watched by MBC leader – Cllr David Burton

The deputy mayor of Maidstone, Cllr Derek Mortimer officially opened the bus station. He says: “We are really pleased that the new bus station has fulfilled the improvements raised from our public consultations and more.

“Customers can now enjoy the welcome feel that the space offers alongside security in a more open, safe environment.

“Thousands of users come through the bus station each week and we want them to see the commitment we’ve made to public transport as part of our aim to keep the county town thriving and sustainable.”

Deputy mayor of Maidstone, Cllr Derek Mortimer

Following a public consultation undertaken from July to September 2020, customers prioritised the need for ‘improved lighting’, ‘refurnishing floors in pedestrian areas’, ‘new bus signage and timetable information’ along with ‘new benches and seating.’

The changes made

The improvement work carried out cost £1.4m and included:

  • Upgrade of the fire safety features including installation of a new sprinkler system
  • Upgrade of entire lighting system, including addition of new architectural lighting
  • Replacement of pedestrian floor surfaces with bespoke tiles and block paving
  • Removal of glass walls between the concourse and road
  • Installation of new metal architectural balustrades and access portals
  • Repair and resurfacing of existing carriageway throughout
  • Installation of high specification public convenience street furniture, including bins and benches
  • Installation of new public wayfinding signage
  • Upgrade of the public announcement system

Cllr Mortimer adds: “It is great to see these improvements come to fruition as another jewel in the county crown for Maidstone. There are many projects in the pipeline to continue improving the town and this is a great example of the public and local authority working together to get the best result. Thank you to everyone who contributed their feedback.”

In addition to the improvement work, a colourful mural wall (main picture) was created with funding by an Arts Council England grant. Maidstone street artist Graham Upton led youngsters from a local youth group to produce the colourful display depicting the town’s varied history. Included in this is a tribute piece to Maidstone’s own late artist Tony Hart who hosted several BBC arts programmes.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past local weekly publications he has worked for include: the South-East London Mercury* covering the Borough of Greenwich as a junior reporter; Orpington-based News Shopper as a sub-editor; and the Kent Messenger when based in Larkfield, Maidstone, as deputy chief sub-editor. He has also worked for the following dailies/nationals: Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor on a car fleet magazine. His first foray into property ownership saw him move from London to Rainham (the Gillingham, Kent, variety). He has subsequently lived in Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Orpington in the Borough of Bromley (which he still regards as being in Kent). In more recent years he owned three different properties on the Kings Hill (West Malling) development.

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