Kent’s Sevenoaks Town Council has received more funding to support its acclaimed No.8 bus service.

The cash injection comes after the government announced earlier this year a £220m investment in bus services. The A Better Deal for Buses includes a package of possible funding opportunities for principal authorities to access and apply to the provision of bus service initiatives designed to explore new types of service provision in providing better connections for communities, increase productivity and reduce congestion.

One strand of the package was Funding for Supported Bus Services, which is designed to provide principal authorities with additional support to offer more services in their area.

Kent County Council submitted a successful bid for this funding and in June was awarded just over £1m to support the proposals that Sevenoaks Town Council put forward.

Kent County Council said: “As well as continuing to support the Rural Initiative Pilots we are pleased to be able to use some of the funding to help the No.8 bus service in Sevenoaks.

“The No.8 has opened a route not traditionally served by local bus services and was very popular before being disrupted by COVID-19. We hope that our support will enable this award-winning service to continue to thrive when ‘normality’ is restored.”

Linda Larter, chief executive and town clerk at Sevenoaks Town Council, said: The council is grateful to Kent County Council and Go Coach, the operator for supporting the No. 8 bus from the beginning of the project and for the immediate future. During these difficult economic times, such support is vital to enable such community services to continue.”

In 2018, the No.8 bus service won the top prize in the Transport Planning Society’s inaugural People’s Award.