Updated plan for the introduction of Dover Fastrack

A view of the new bridge over the A2 nearing completion, looking south

A view of the new bridge over the A2 nearing completion, looking south

A purpose-built, all-electric rapid bus transit system connecting Whitfield with Dover town centre and Dover Priory railway station is set to launch this summer.

Kent County Council (KCC) is delivering the scheme in partnership with Dover District Council (DDC) and Homes England. A Housing Infrastructure Fund grant supports housing developments at Whitfield and the former Connaught Barracks site.

Infrastructure improvements worth £23 million, giving buses a smoother ride through the town, are progressing well. The new electric buses are supported with an £850,000 grant from the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme. The dedicated fleet of five electric buses will be gradually introduced on the route by the end of the year, with alternative vehicles used in the interim.

The partnership is focused on making it easier to choose public transport on buses that will emit zero emissions.

Upon delivery of the new electric fleet, Stagecoach will run five dedicated fully electric buses along the route providing passengers with a reliable, high-quality and frequent shuttle service throughout the day and connecting with Southeastern’s High Speed services from Dover Priory.

KCC’s Director of Highways and Transportation, Haroona Chughtai, said: “Alongside Kent Thameside’s Fastrack, Dover Fastrack will be Kent’s first zero emission bus service with a fleet of brand-new electric buses.

“We are looking forward to working with Stagecoach on making sure this service as reliable, useful and convenient for residents.

“Our ambition is to make it easier for people to choose public transport for their journeys before jumping in their car and we are excited that this project is progressing.”

Stagecoach South East Commercial Director, Matthew Arnold, said: “Following a difficult time for the bus industry, we are delighted to be partnering with Kent County Council and Dover District Council on this exciting project.

“As the project moves into mobilisation, we will be working closely with suppliers and stakeholders to introduce the first zero emission buses to this part of Kent.”

Dover District Council’s Strategic Director for Place and Environment, Roger Walton, said: “We are pleased to be working with Kent County Council and Stagecoach on this project. Fastrack is the first zero-emission bus service in the Dover district, demonstrating our commitment to improving public transport options for local people, while supporting our ambition to reduce carbon emissions.”

KCC had hoped to launch the service in early 2024 however delays in the supply chain and seasonal conditions have meant it is now hoped the service will begin by the end of July 2024. Further updates regarding the service will be provided in advance of the service becoming operational.