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Route 96 bus from Dartford to serve Darent Valley Hospital

PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:04 28 December 2017

The route 96 now takes in Darent Valley Hospital. Picture: TfL

The route 96 now takes in Darent Valley Hospital. Picture: TfL

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A special bus has been laid on for the Route 96 between Dartford and Bluewater – it now takes in Darent Valley Hospital boosting access for patients and visitors.

The re-routed journey started on Saturday, December 16.

Transport for London said it will serve Darent Valley Hospital and use part of the Fastrack Bus Rapid Transit system between Dartford and Bluewater.

Route 96 presently runs between Woolwich and Bluewater shopping centre via Plumstead, Welling, Bexleyheath, Crayford and Dartford.

Between Dartford, East Hill and Bluewater, buses will run via Park Road, Princes Road, the Fastrack system, Darent Valley Hospital bus stops near the hospital entrance, and then back on to the Fastrack system.

There is no change to the frequency or to the other bus stops served.

The changes come as a result of a concerted campaign by London Borough of Bexley to improve transport links to and from the borough to essential health services. As well as improving reliability, this change improves access to Darent Valley Hospital, particularly for people in the Welling and Bexleyheath areas who will no longer need to change buses in Dartford.

Leader of Bexley Council, Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE said: “I am delighted that Bexley residents will now be able to access a faster, more direct bus route to Darent Valley Hospital and that TfL have listened and responded to our calls for this change. It is an important step forward in our plans to improve transport connections and services in the borough.”

The Fastrack system, co-ordinated by Kent County Council, uses a combination of measures to allow buses to avoid other traffic. As well as improving reliability, this change improves access to Darent Valley Hospital, particularly for people in the Woolwich, Plumstead, Welling and Bexleyheath areas who will no longer need to change buses in Dartford.

Apart from serving the hospital, route 96 will continue to run non-stop between Dartford town centre and Bluewater. It will no longer take an alternative route during periods of heavy traffic.

The alteration was decided upon after a consultation earlier this year.

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