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.
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Division affected: Dartford East; Dartford Rural; Swanscombe and Greenhithe;
Notice of proposed decision first published: 24/06/2019
Decision due: Not before 23rd Jul 2019 by Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be publsihed for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste
Lead director: Simon Jones
Department: Growth, Environment & Transport
Contact: Shane Hymers 03000 414723 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The proposed decision was considered and endorsed by the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee on 16 July 2019.
Financial implications: Works currently estimated at £12.206m are to be delivered by KCC using forward funding and some investment funding provided by Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC) and Bluewater with recovery using the Fastrack Revenue surplus. Developer Henley Camland will also be making a contribution so that the tunnel invert matches their proposed development platform level in Eastern Quarry.
Legal implications: Legal agreements are required between KCC, EDC & Bluewater with the contributions from Henley Camland covered by a S278 agreement.
Equalities implications: An EqIA has been conducted for the full Fastrack network and the civils project identified above.