The first of Kent’s new mobile library vehicles have hit the county’s roads, bringing a range of books to residents eager to nourish their love of reading during lockdown and beyond.

KCC’s Libraries, Registration and Archives service has invested in five new vehicles to cover all the routes across Kent – including the surrounding areas of Ashford, Dover, Maidstone, Northfleet and Sturry.

The vehicles carry a great range of books and crucially offer greater reliability, reduced maintenance costs, and are more economical to drive than the older vehicles.

Wheelchair access is available thanks to the access steps being part of the wheelchair lift and, teamed with the rear air suspension, the entry and exit is kept comfortable for all customers.

The most recent figures available, for 2019-20, record that KCC’s mobile libraries assisted more than 28,000 visitors and issued nearly 80,000 items.

Mike Hill, Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “I am delighted that the first of our new mobile libraries is being enjoyed by our customers. There was a real need to replace the older vehicles so that we can maintain the excellent customer service residents expect from Kent Libraries.”

“We know from customer feedback that the mobile service has been a real lifeline to many residents during lockdown, and I am pleased that our new vehicles will be reliable, comfortable and improve customer experience.”

Mr Hill said close attention had been paid to the need to provide mobile libraries that were as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible.

For more information on Kent Libraries and the mobile service, visit www.kent.gov.uk/libs

By Ed