Bus company to stop running Amazon Dartford buses

Kent bus company Go-Coach are to cease operating a bus route serving a recently opened Amazon mega warehouse in Dartford connecting to Greenhithe, Ebbsfleet and Gravesend, with Arriva set to pick up some of the slack from next month.

The service has run 24/7 since commencing in August 2021 paid for by Amazon with Kent Country Council now refusing to fund a dedicated service.

Full route run by Go Coach

Single fares begun at £2.50 upon launch but were raised to £3.30 a couple of months after services begun. It also appears the service – which are also usable by the general public – has struggled to gain passengers. Slow speeds, traffic congestion and high fares havn’t helped. Buses frequently become stuck around the Dartford crossing.

Arriva – who operate Fastrack services – are to divert their Fastrack A route to serve the site, which will lessen the “Fast” element of that service somewhat. Arrive also recently announced a reduction in off peak service levels on Fastrack routes A and B.

Less frequent buses and longer routes are unlikely to tempt drivers to switch to public transport.

Giant warehouse developments in Dartford

Arriva also state they will operate a dedicated AZ service beside the Fastrack diversion but give no details. In fact, Arriva’s general lack of publicity is a sorry state of affairs. Their website gives little knowledge to the public of just how and where they will mitigate Go Coach dropping operations.

Having used various bus company services outside of London over the years including First, National Express and Stagecoach, Arriva seem to be in a state of inertia not just in Kent but nationwide. A proposed sale of the company was suspended by Deutsche Bahn.

The company’s website is a bit of a mess. Half the time it doesn’t load correctly or display relevant information, with the distinct whiff of a company that’s given up.

The company has recently announced cuts in north Kent such as the complete withdrawal of route 455 and truncating route 477 so it no longer runs to Bluewater. The Sunday service is also being removed.

Areas of north Kent and Medway are seeing some of the highest housing growth in the entire country, and it’s quite likely many newcomers will drive adding to congestion given just how poor Arriva are.

 

As a private renter with a young family, the cost of living is extremely high.

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John Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

4 thoughts on “Bus company to stop running Amazon Dartford buses

  • March 28, 2022 at 3:21 pm
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    This is wholly inaccurate. go-coach have not dropped the route, KCC are not funding the latter part of the contract but instead have integrated it into the existing Fasttrack contact with Arriva. The first part was paid for by Amazon as part of a Section 106 agreement.

    Reply
  • March 28, 2022 at 4:00 pm
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    This is wholly inaccurate information. go-coach haven’t dropped the route. KCC have dropped the contract. The route was paid for directly by Amazon for the first 8 months as part of the section 106 money. The remainder of the contract was supposed to be paid for by Kent County Council who have now integrated it into the existing Fasttrack contact which Arriva runs.

    Reply
  • March 28, 2022 at 4:02 pm
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    It says Go Coach are to stop running it and Arriva to take over part of it using Fastrack which they are.

    Neither Go Coach nor Arriva have covered themselves in glory here with poor information at bus stops and online. Even now Arriva’s website could give far more information.

    Reply
  • April 7, 2022 at 7:47 am
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    The AZ service was poor… missing buses, no timetables displayed at bus stops, in fact no information at all at any locations on the route, belligerent drivers, happy to drive past people they know wanted to get on the bus, incorrect/no information on the only timetable displayed on line, etc etc etc.. there was no clue where you could get on at Gravesend station, and if you stood at the wrong bus stop, the driver wouldn’t pick you up… how was any of that ever going to encourage anyone to use it… so they didn’t!

    Reply

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