Stagecoach South East managing director Joel Mitchell with DDC leader Cllr Trevor Bartlett, DDC’s cabinet member for transport Cllr Martin Bates, Stagecoach’s Dover operations team and Cllr Kay Sutcliffe from Aylesham Parish Council

Travel is about to get much easier for communities in Aylesham and the surrounding villages thanks to a new on-demand bus service launching on February 20. 

DDC has been working with operator Stagecoach and Aylesham Parish Council to introduce two Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) minibuses so residents not currently served by a regular bus service can reach essential services in Whitfield. 

The 16-seater vehicles will also link passengers to other buses going from Whitfield into Dover town and from Aylesham into Canterbury. 

People can book their journeys at the touch of a button, either through an app or by calling a phone operator at Stagecoach’s head office. 

Initially the buses will use existing bus stops in Aylesham and the villages to collect and drop people off, but as the service becomes more established, technology will identify ‘virtual’ bus stops based on passengers’ travel patterns. 

This means there will be additional pick-up and drop-off locations across the service area, which includes Eythorne, Elvington, Nonington and Shepherdswell. 

Both minibuses are fully accessible and travel concessions will be accepted on the service. A single flat fare will be £3.50. 

School bus passes are not eligible on the DRT service, although this may be reviewed in the future. 

The buses will run from 7am-7pm Monday to Friday, and 9am-5pm on Saturdays.  

The service will support the growing community of Aylesham, which has seen more than 1,000 new homes built as part of the Garden Village development. Work on the final phase will begin this year, involving a proposed 290 more homes. 


Cllr Martin Bates, DDC’s cabinet member for transport, said: “We are delighted these on-demand buses are being made available to people in Aylesham and the villages who have gone without a regular bus service for so long. 

“It will provide significant benefits to these communities who will be able to access services and facilities at Whitfield or travel on into Dover town. 

“Getting to work will be made easier for some and for others it could potentially open up employment opportunities now regular travel has been made possible. 

“We hope residents welcome this new service as much as we do.” 

Stagecoach South East managing director Joel Mitchell said: “We’re excited to be involved in bringing this new transport solution to the community of Aylesham and surrounding area.  

“It’s a first for us in the South East, using technology supplied by our partners at Ioki to provide adaptable routes and scheduling to meet the needs of local people.” 

The Stagecoach Connect booking app will be available on the Apple Store and Google Play. To book a journey by phone call 01227 538631.  

For more information and FAQs go to


By Ed

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