Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Approval is required to take the Fastrack Full Network – Bean Road Tunnels scheme through the next stages of development and delivery including authority to progress statutory approvals and consultation where appropriate, and to enter into funding agreements and construction contracts.
Fastrack is the high-quality Bus Rapid Transit system operating in the Gravesham / Dartford area. The existing Fastrack network has been in place since 2006/07 and provides fast, reliable and efficient transport across Kent Thameside. A programme of Fastrack projects has been identified to deliver infrastructure and operational arrangements to complete delivery of the Fastrack Full Network.
Bean Road Tunnel is a major civils infrastructure scheme to provide a Fastrack busway and a footway/cycleway linking Eastern Quarry and Bluewater. Two haulage tunnels were constructed through the chalk spine supporting B255 Bean Road to facilitate earthworks movements during the construction of Bluewater Shopping Centre during the mid-1990’s. These tunnels still exist and were considered to be used to form a new direct connection. Following feasibility work into the potential use of these tunnels it has been determined that it would be more cost effective to construct a new tunnel for both Fastrack/cycling/walking and leave the existing tunnels as is. The proposed new bore tunnel with combined bus, walking and cycling renders both haulage tunnels redundant. Recent ecological investigation in the construction tunnels has revealed that there is some low-level bat activity and mitigation will be required in the construction of a new tunnel. Whilst one tunnel would be retained for bat conservation, the other would be filled to reduce maintenance and potential risk of exposure to unauthorised access. These works must be delivered to link up with the Fastrack Spine being built across Eastern Quarry by developer Henley Camland.
The Ebbsfleet area is due for significant growth in the coming years and with current levels of traffic congestion considered to be at critical levels already, Fastrack is central to supporting the growth agenda whereby a 40% modal share is assumed between public transport and the car.
As Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste, I agree to:
i) give approval to the progress of the reference design as shown on Drawing No. B2350500-JAC-HA-XX-DR-D-0001 Rev P01 for development control and land charge disclosures;
ii) give approval to progress all statutory approvals or consents required for the scheme including transfer of land and rights;
iii) give approval to carry out consultation on the scheme;
iv) give approval to underwrite and enter into forward funding and investment funding agreement(s) subject to the approval of the Infrastructure Commissioning Board;
v) give approval to enter into a design & build construction contract as necessary for the delivery of the scheme subject to the approval of the Infrastructure Commissioning Board to the recommended procurement strategy; and
vi) give approval for the Corporate Director of Growth, Environment & Transport, under the Officer Scheme of Delegations, to take further or other decisions as may be appropriate to deliver the Fastrack Full Network – Bean Road Tunnel scheme in accordance with these recommendations.
Publication date: 29/07/2019
Date of decision: 29/07/2019
Effective from: 06/08/2019