Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

Hold very tight please – A letter from the town mayor

Town Mayor Roderick Hogarth describes his day volunteering as a conductor on the vintage double decker bus supplied by Go Coach which tours Sevenoaks every summer

SEVENOAKS has seen the big red vintage bus in the summer for five years now. Did you know you can volunteer to be the conductor? I did my first afternoon stint last week and found it to be an eye-opening experience.

The bus operates on an all day ticket, hop-on, hop-off basis starting at Knole. It then travels through the town down to the station and into Riverhead before heading up St John’s Hill from Bat & Ball calling at Hollybush and the bus station before returning to Knole.

It gives an insight into the traffic problems we face (outside of term time) – actually, it seemed to me there are fewer than some might have you believe and most of the delays may have more to do with driving behaviour than the roads themselves.

Then there are the types of people who use the bus. During my shift, I met a family of four from Belgium down from London and there were several grandparents out with their grandchildren for the day. In fact there were roughly twice as many children as adults on my shift. There were also the serious bus enthusiasts who sit in quiet appreciation. Some use it just for the round trip, which takes about 33 minutes but several used it just for getting from A to B.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the upper level is the most popular place to sit. Sevenoaks shows itself off very well. Even the messier bits around the train station don’t look so bad from the upper deck but undoubtedly one of the favourite bits is getting through the narrow part of the High Street by Six Bells Lane and it turns out, children really love the fact that the roof gets hit by tree branches at various points on the route.

Transport in Sevenoaks can be fun. Best of all, as conductor, I got to ride for free, just like the under-10s!

Roderick Hogarth
Town Councillor for St Johns Ward

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