David George - Articles and news items
The first stage of the Fastrack new bus rapid transit system, launched in March 2006, has already had a huge impact on the travel patterns of local residents already living in north Kent. Now a new route has been launched, this time with the focus on influencing the travel behaviour of the future residents of a major development, even before they arrive.
The background to Fastrack and its rationale were detailed in Issue 2 (2006) of Eurotransport. This article reviews progress since and describes the recently launched new route designed to deliver unprecedented public transport mode share from the first new major development site to get underway in the Thames Gateway.
The first stage of a new bus rapid transit system is transforming public transport in north Kent – and potentially far more widely if the innovative approach is taken up elsewhere. Fastrack is providing the UK’s first example of a high quality bus-based rapid public transport system specifically designed to meet the needs of a growth area.
Kent Thameside is one of the main growth areas in the Thames Gateway. Focussed on the urban areas of the boroughs of Dartford and Gravesham in north Kent, the area has potential to deliver up to 50,000 new jobs and 30,000 new houses over the next 20 to 30 years as large brownfield sites are regenerated. A key catalyst for regeneration is the new Channel Tunnel Rail Link station at Ebbsfleet, which will bring about a step change in accessibility for the area, providing easy and rapid connections to and from central London, Paris and the continent.