A bus stop is a designated place where buses stop for passengers to board or leave a bus.
A bus shelter is a covered structure at a bus stop providing protection against the weather for people waiting for a bus.
Bus stop posts, signs and electronic arrival time display units
These are all the responsibility of Kent County Council.
Bus shelters in our area are owned and maintained by one of 4 organisations.
1. Most bus shelters are owned by a company called Clear Channel. We have entered into an agreement with Clear Channel whereby, in return for sole advertising rights, shelters are provided and maintained at no cost to us.
2. We own shelters in Blue Bell Hill, Larkfield, Hadlow and West Malling.
3. Parish councils own some shelters in their parish.
4. Bus shelters can be privately owned. Liberty Property Trust own and maintain some bus shelters in Kings Hill. Tesco own and maintain a bus shelter in Larkfield. This shelter is in Chaucer Way above Tesco opposite the footpath with Sassoon Close, between the surgery and Macaulay Close.
Parish Councils may provide and maintain bus shelters
Parish Councils have the power to provide and maintain bus shelters Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1953 S.4. Below are some of the things to be considered by a Parish Council before deciding to provide and maintain a bus shelter.
Choosing a bus shelter
There are many types of bus shelters available, but in all cases the Parish Council will need to consider the work involved and the costs, to them, of:
- purchasing a bus shelter
- a competent street works registered professional with sufficient public liability insurance etc for all works
- associated works e.g. permits, creating surfacing where they may not be any already, making good any surfacing works, electricity supply, providing a footway to the new bus shelter location if there is none already
- the cost of maintenance and insurance. Maintenance responsibility does not pass to either the Borough Council or Kent County Council but remains with the Parish Council.
- potential removal and/or replacement if badly damaged
The Parish Council will also need to consider, and make decisions on:
- Accessibility to and from the shelter
- Visibility from the shelter to an approaching bus and from the bus into the shelter
- Installation requirements
- Impact of the shelter on surroundings, including nearby properties
- Resistance to weathering/graffiti
- How bus service information can be displayed
Bus shelter locations must be agreed with the Highway Authority as they will check that the shelter will not affect highway safety. Other bus shelter location matters that the Parish Council will need to consider are that they should:
- Be provided on an existing bus route, and at an existing bus stop
- Be large enough to accommodate the shelter and boarding area so that passengers can get on and off the bus with ease.
- Be large enough for other users of the footpath to pass easily. Bear in in mind that these users may be using items such as mobility scooters and prams.
- Have a level, surfaced, self-draining base
- Must not obstruct access or affect visibility
Consents, permissions and consultation
The types of consents, permissions and consultations to be considered are:
- Landowner permission will be needed in all cases. If the location is on the public highway this will be the Highway Authority. If you are unsure of the land owner, land ownership records are available from HM Land Registry.
- Planning consents such as planning permission, conservation area consent, advertising consent may be needed. Check if planning consents are required from our planning section.
- Highway Authority. In this area this is Kent County Council, they should be contacted at an early stage to discuss permit and licensing requirements.
- Contractors will need to check the locations of any buried apparatus (e.g. water, electricity, gas, communications providers etc.)
- Local residents and businesses consultation to ensure that their views and considered.
- The Community Safety Partnership. As some residents and businesses may be concerned about anti-social behaviour.