The housing estate where buses won’t go after dark

November 8, 2019 5:12:44 PM

A bus company is refusing to serve a Kent housing estate in the evenings because its drivers are being repeatedly threatened by youths after dark.

One Stagecoach driver found the road ahead blocked by young people in the road who then started attacking the bus.

On Tuesday evening, a bus was approached by a group of youths while it rested at a bus stop.

One of the youths asked if he could drive the bus and when the driver told him no, he was subjected to threats.

Now the bus company has told its drivers not to take their buses on to the Bridgefield estate in Ashford after 6pm, out of concern for their safety.

A bus stop on the Bridgefield Estate in Ashford, Kent
A bus stop on the Bridgefield Estate in Ashford, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Katherine Jones, operations manager for Stagecoach at Ashford, said: “We’ve had a number of incidents at Bridgefield since buses began serving the development in August 2017.

“Given the number of incidents and the threats made to our drivers, we’ve had to suspend the service in the evenings.

“We have a zero tolerance approach to abuse of our staff and we’re working closely with the police, who are investigating both these incidents.”

Joel Mitchell, managing director of Stagecoach South East, said: “We are gutted that a small minority are preventing us from serving part of the community, which is what we’re here for.”

Kent Police confirmed that both incidents are being investigated.

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