Bus company Go-Ahead have announced they will replace Arriva in operating Fastrack bus services in Kent.https://www.fromthemurkydepths.co.uk/2023/06/14/dartford-fastrac…-operate-in-2024/
Last week Dartford council expressed worries over Arriva deciding not to operate the service, with fears they could also pull out of operating other services aside from Fastrack.
Go-Ahead look likely to now seek to operate not just Fastrack but other routes in the area. Initially buses will be based out of Bexleyheath garage until a new dedicated facility is constructed.
The company are trying to brand them as trams though they’re buses with a bit of plastic over half the wheels. Still, going full electric will improve emissions and passengers will see features such as USB charging points.
Go Ahead state:
“Kent’s Fastrack network is a fantastic blueprint for the future of bus travel, on dedicated busways away from traffic congestion. Go-Ahead will make this a zero-emission service and will deploy comfortable, modern, state-of-the-art ieTrams to enhance passengers’ journeys.”
It’s certainly an area with much potential. Dartford has seen thousands of homes recently built with many other planned at sites such as the 637-home Copperhouse Green project.
Hundreds more homes are either being built or planned just to the east in Stone along the existing Fastrack route.
Ebbsfleet lacks a route but one is eventually proposed, while to the north thousands of homes are being built or proposed including 1,450 in Northfleet and others in Gravesend.
There’s also 233 homes underway a 10 minute walk from Swanscombe station bringing the total at that development to 333.
It should have been an area of major potential for Arriva, but the company have stagnated for years as owners Deutsch Bahn failed to invest as they pondered a sale of the business.