The Man from Arriva says ‘YES’ to Maidstone
27 Sep 2018
When Oliver Monahan, 43, was appointed into his new role as Area Managing Director for Arriva he knew he would have to relocate but had no idea where to base himself.
“The area I am responsible for covers everywhere between London City Airport and east Sussex, from Guildford through to Sheerness and includes nine depots which I could have made my base. The possibilities were numerous.”
Oliver and his partner undertook a comprehensive sifting operation to identify the best place for them to move to. “We started with a very long list of potential places to move to, but also with strict criteria of what we wanted. Because of the area I must cover for work I needed great rail connections, somewhere easily commutable to London, the facilities of a thriving town, an exciting shopping offer and a property market that was not ridiculously over-priced.
“After lots of visits and research we got down to a shortlist of three areas; Sevenoaks, Ebbsfleet and Maidstone. Having visited all the towns, the clear winner was Maidstone which ticked all the boxes.”
Oliver moved to Lenham last month and is convinced he made the right decision. “I’m loving it. I'm basically 30 minutes travel from anywhere in Kent and an hour from anywhere in the southeast. Compared to London we’ve found a real sense of community and we’re amazed by the thriving nighttime economy in Maidstone. We had a friend visit from Brazil recently and they were blown away by the town and especially enjoyed a boat trip on the river. My nieces and nephews are also very excited about how accessible Euro Disney now is!
In his role with Arriva Oliver manages over 1,000 frontline staff and around 450 buses and has big plans for the business. “Buses need to modernise and offer an improved customer experience if they are to continue to play a key role in public transport. At Arriva we are investing in technology to keep buses relevant. For example, all our buses have CCTV, and our new buses have usb charging points, contactless payment and free wi-fi, which the kids (and most of our older customers) love.
“With our award winning on-demand bus service ‘Arriva Click’, people can book via the app, and the bus comes to you! This builds on our Arriva app which allows you to track your bus, plan routes and even buy m-tickets – no cash needed! Alongside this we’ve also introduced a special ‘twilight ticket’ - valid after 7pm it costs just £1.50, regardless of where passengers are going to, so it takes people from Maidstone out as far as Tunbridge Wells, Cranbrook and Tenterden. Not surprisingly it’s proving a real hit.”