Go-Coach terminates ‘in darkness’ 429 service to West Kingsdown after attacks on buses
Three attacks on Go-Coach vehicles in West Kingsdown on the 429 route from Dartford has resulted in the Sevenoaks bus company issuing the following statement on its website:
Route 429 Dartford to West Kingsdown
We have had three incidents of buses being attacked in West Kingsdown. Last Thursday 31st October the 429 was attacked by youths with a pole near the Gamecock PH resulting in the windscreen being broken.
Yesterday evening the 429 double deck school bus was shot at with what we think was an air rifle, resulting in one student being hit by flying glass but fortunately not injured. Additionally, the 17:35 429 was attacked and shot at, we think with a catapult. This resulted in a large hole in the windscreen and a side glass broken.
The police have been informed of the events. To prevent further damage to buses with what is already costing in excess of £1,500 in parts alone and also to ensure we do not have any injured staff or passengers, we have made the decision to terminate all ‘in darkness’ 429 journeys to West Kingsdown at Brands Hatch. This will allow the passengers to walk into West Kingsdown.
At present we will still be operating the S11 to South Darenth and 413 to Meopham through West Kingsdown as they should be safer due to them running earlier, but we will need to look at these routes if there are any problems. Morning journeys will operate as normal. We propose to keep this in place until we have assurances from the police or the community that the risk is not present.
The Saturday 429 last trip which is timetabled for 1812 at Farningham, then set down only to West Kingsdown, will also terminate at Brands hatch.