Issue details

23/00038 - Fastrack Electrification - Land matters

Proposed decision

To authorise the Director of Infrastructure, in consultation with the Corporate Director of Growth Environment and Transportation, to agree all necessary contractual arrangements relating to land and property matters to facilitate the Fastrack Electrification schemes at Thameside and Dover.


Reason for the decision

Under decision 22/00086 the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport agreed the delivery of three Fastrack Electrification Sites, two for Fastrack Thameside and one site for Fastrack Dover.


It has become apparent that several of the property and land related decisions may fall outside of the usual delegations outlined in KCC’s Constitution, specifically its Property Management Protocol.


As a precaution, and to ensure that the project can progress to time, a further decision is required, delegated to the Director of Infrastructure, whose team will conduct negotiations as necessary on behalf of KCC’s public transport team, to ensure that all property related decisions can be made efficiently.



Fastrack is Kent County Council’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The decision to progress with the procurement process using ZEBRA funding was taken by David Brazier, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport on 30 September 2022.

This further decision is requested to allow KCC Fastrack team and the KCC property team to progress and finalise land matters and enter into legal agreements with relevant District Councils, Network Rail and other parties to allow the electric bus charging solution to be installed and energised as per the proposed timeline.

The Electric Bus charging infrastructure is proposed to be installed at:

1.     Acacia Hall car park, Dartford

2.     Gravesend Bus Hub, Gravesend

3.     Dover Priory Station, Dover

Fastrack electrification land matters include but is not limited to :

·           Land leases

·           Land Agreements for the duration of the Fastrack EV charging solution contract

·           Easements/wayleaves

·           Various license arrangements

·           Other legal land matters documentation as required



Options (other options considered but discarded)

The property management protocol already delegates authority for certain transaction types - this delegation would not be required for these. Returning for a Member Decision for each matter not covered by the property management protocol would introduce delay and additional unnecessary administration.


How the proposed decision supports Framing Kent’s Future 2022-2026: (


Infrastructure for Communities


Commitment to support the development of zero emission/new technology public transport projects, for example zero emission buses, to increase efficiency and sustainability of public transport options.


Fastrack is already a community asset and the electrification contracts will create a new generation of a ‘zero emission’ Fastrack.


Electric Fastrack led by KCC’s public transport team is expected to be the first fully electric bus fleet in Kent when it goes live during 2024 leading the way for future electric buses across Kent.


This decision is to ensure the land and property matters for the Fastrack electric bus charging infrastructure do not delay the installation and energisation of the Fastrack electric charging solution which in turn delay the commencement of the new Fastrack electric operator service.


Environmental Step change


Commitment to turn the curve on transport emissions and road pollution by developing approaches to road space, parking, public transport and electric vehicle infrastructure with a presumption towards more sustainable and low carbon travel modes.


Fastrack Thameside is now exceeding pre-covid levels of bus patronage leading the Covid bus recovery in the UK.  Fastrack’s ambition for electrification is to further increase modal shift to electric public transport from private car use.


Use of Zero emission buses means reduced transport CO2 emissions and reduced air pollution in the Thameside area.  Dartford Homes Gardens bus corridor is the third worst for severity of air pollution in Kent and Medway, therefore Fastrack electric bus fleet will help tackle air pollution where is it most needed.


Commitment to support Kent to become a leading county for carbon zero energy production and use.


Fastrack is moving from a diesel bus fleet to a fully electric bus fleet with supporting OppCharger bus charging infrastructure during 2024. Fastrack intends to source its electricity from renewable energy sources and aims to supplement the electricity by solar panels at strategic locations on the Fastrack Thameside bus shelter network and work towards sourcing locally generated solar or wind power when possible during the contract.


Tackling the climate emergency and protecting the natural environment continues to be an urgent priority for Kent, as well as investing in the built environment and creating communities to be proud of.


Commitment to consider Kent’s environment as a core asset that is valued, strengthened and protected.


Fastrack already led the way encouraging pollinators on its estate with Fastrack wildflower verge planting with Phase 2 due to be rolled out during 2023. The Fastrack team is procuring a Living Roof bus shelter contractor during 2023 to supply and install Living Roof bus shelters on the Fastrack Thameside BRT network.


The Fastrack team work with Kent’s Plan bee team and wildflowers used on the Fastrack network including on the land we require for the Electric bus chargers will attract the rare shrill carder bee & increase biodiversity of pollinators in the local areas of the three electric charging sites.


Data Protection implications


Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 04/05/2023

Decision due: Not before 2nd Jun 2023 by Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport

Department: Growth, Environment & Transport

Consultation process

Fastrack Kent Thameside users are bi-annually surveyed on their views and these were considered carefully when designing the next iteration of Fastrack. The next Fastrack Thameside survey will be during Spring/Summer 2023 focused on feedback on fares/ proposed fare structure.


Public Consultation has been conducted on the wider Fastrack Dover scheme which included specific information about proposed electrification.


As part of the KCC Planning Application process for the EV Charging Infrastructure there will be some very local consultation with nearby residents at the three locations and with Dartford BC, Gravesend BC and Dover DC.


Financial implications: Following feedback from GET Finance business partner, CED and DCED Finance Business Partner, we clarify that the land matter costs are expected to be low value and are not expected to use KCC budget. It is the intention to pay for the land matters using part of the ZEBRA funding (it has both capital and revenue elements), existing Fastrack budget and future Fastrack electric operation income for the duration of the Fastrack operator and Fastrack Electric bus charging contracts (15 years +5). The key decision relating to the Fastrack electrification funding and procurement, using ZEBRA funding was taken in September 2022. This included the acceptance of the DfT ZEBRA funding, which funds the Fastrack Thameside electric bus fleet as well as the Fastrack Opp Charger Infrastructure for Fastrack Thameside and Fastrack Dover.

Legal implications: KCC Fastrack team and KCC Property team will utilise legal support to ensure all necessary consents relating to land matters for the new Fastrack Electric bus charging infrastructure are obtained as appropriate. KCC Fastrack team have appointed Invicta Law who is already working with the Fastrack team on this. KCC Fastrack team have engaged with KCC Property team who will negotiate all required Heads of Terms for land transaction arrangements.

Equalities implications: A Fastrack electrification EQIA accompanied KCC’s ZEBRA bid to the DfT and remains a live document. The schemes proposed are shown to have either a positive or no impact on the protected characteristics.


Agenda items