Major Fastrack bus expansion planned as Ebbsfleet Garden City chief expects more than 5,000 homes to arrive by 2021
PUBLISHED: 12:12 05 July 2017
The bus network currently serves Dartford and Gravesham
Bosses at Ebbsfleet Garden City are finalising plans to improve bus routes, potenially through old quarry tunnels, to support thousands of homes due in the next four years.
CEO at Ebbsfleet Development Corporation Paul Spooner says works are on-course to deliver 5,100 homes at the garden city by 2021.
With the number of developers at the site rising to nine later this year, Mr Spooner highlighted the importance of developing supporting infrastructure.
“We’re finalising a plan in the coming weeks for a major upgrade of the Fastrack bus service currently serving Dartford and Gravesham.
“The route has already been expanded to serve the Castle Hill development, but we want to make sure by 2021 we have the best public transport infrastructure we can provide.
“It’s too early to discuss the costs of the project, but obviously we want to create the best infrastructure for people moving into the city by connecting all of our housing developments to places like Bluewater, Ebbsfleet International, Gravesend, Dartford and the London Resort theme park.”
Current Fastrack services use exclusive bus lanes unavailable to cars, with suggestions abandoned tunnels near the eastern quarry development site could be used by buses.
A Kent County Council spokesperson said: “KCC is working with its partners to establish a framework which will enable the implementation of the Fastrack network strategy.
“This strategy has been updated to take account of the revised development at Ebbsfleet, changes in demand and changes in technology. Through this framework, the county council will play its part in implementing further Fastrack routes/improvements in the coming years.”
Once complete, Ebbsfleet Garden City is expected to boast 15,000 homes, creating up to 30,000 jobs by 2031.
Earlier this year we revealed proposals to develop a tram link which could connect Ebbsfleet with Essex and link it to the proposed London Resort theme park, formerly known as Paramount Park.
Campaigners feel the tram could combat a so-called ‘toxic triangle’ between Gravesham, Ebbsfleet and Grays in Essex which could be created once the Lower Thames Crossing arrives in 2025.
Mr Spooner described the plans as “interesting” but told us a full business plan would need to be drawn up before any considerations to back proposals would be made.