First deregistrations made as operators' patience runs out

Continued uncertainty over government financial support has led to some operators deciding to deregister routes which seem unlikely to recover to viable levels.

The Department for Transport had agreed with the Traffic Commissioners an extension of shorter-notice registrations from the end of February to March 18, in the hope that details over a replacement for Bus Recovery Grant would by then be in place.

But as Buses went to press, there was still no date in prospect, with some attributing the delay to the extra time needed to agree a settlement with Transport for London, finally achieved on February 25.

In the meantime, a growing number of deregistrations were being made. In Kent, Arriva Southern Counties will completely give up 155 (Maidstone-villages-Chatham) and 455 (Gravesend local service) as well as making substantial cuts to other routes in the Gravesend and Dartford areas.

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