Dover Fastrack connects new housing at Whitfield and Connaught Barracks with the town centre and Dover Priory railway station
Construction of Dover Fastrack, Kent’s first zero-emission bus service connecting Whitfield with Dover town centre and Dover Priory railway station is to start this month following the award of the construction contract to Colas UK Projects Ltd by Kent County Council (KCC).
KCC is managing delivery of the project on behalf of Dover District Council (DDC), with the two councils working together to meet a shared ambition to see the district and county become carbon neutral by 2050.
Work begins on the scheme this month with construction expected to take around 18 months. With the project’s strong focus on carbon reduction, Colas will plant more than 10,000 new trees, shrubs, and hedgerows, and provide enhanced wildlife habitat in the area.
Construction of the rapid bus transit system includes a new bus, cycle and pedestrian-only bridge across the A2 at Whitfield, and a new link road from the B&Q roundabout in Whitfield to Dover Road at Guston. The junction with Dover Road will be for buses, bicycles, and pedestrians only.
A fleet of new electric buses will operate on Dover Fastrack. KCC worked in partnership with Volvo to trial the electric alternative in 2018 and has been awarded funding as part of the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme.
Dover Fastrack also creates an effective transport interchange with high-speed train services from Dover Priory railway station, ideal for commuting, business, and leisure trips to and from London. It will also provide a quick and easy way to reach the town centre and Dover Castle.
Dover Fastrack is backed by central government with £22.9m from a funding programme designed to help stimulate new housing development at Whitfield and the former Connaught Barracks site. DDC was awarded the grant by Homes England and is working in partnership with KCC as the highways authority.
Cllr Trevor Bartlett, Leader of Dover District Council, said: “We’re excited that Dover will boast Kent’s first zero-emission bus service, demonstrating our commitment to improving public transport options so that local people have real alternatives to car journeys.
“Dover Fastrack represents the biggest investment in public transport in Dover for many years and is key to the delivery of new housing at Whitfield and the former Connaught Barracks site, and our ambitions to cut carbon emissions.”