Connectivity & Infrastructure
High Speed Connectivity
Ebbsfleet international station bringing Paris and Brussels within around 2 hours - is a major catalyst for growth. Running new domestic high speed trains since 2009, Ebbsfleet is just 17 minutes from St. Pancras and 10 from Stratford, and journeys from London to Medway (now the same as to Leicester) have been cut by more than two-thirds.
Fastrack is a high-quality bus rapid-transit network that links centres across Dartford and Gravesham. Its first route between Dartford and Gravesend was launched in early 2006 and was soon carrying over 50% more passengers than predicted. Further extensions of Fastrack are planned as part of the Ebbsfleet Garden City proposals.
Although Thames Gateway Kent is well-served by the strategic road network, the key to unlocking some of the key sites has been investment in road infrastructure. A number of major transport infrastructure improvements have been completed, contributing to a vast increase in the area’s transport capacity including:
- The new Sheppey Crossing which opened in 2006 and improvements to the A249 have boosted access to the Isle of Sheppey from the mainland
- A major programme of M2 and A2 improvements (widening and re-alignment) in Dartford and Gravesham and the M25
- Private investment in new rail infrastructure through an innovative joint partnership between Crossrail, Network Rail and Lafarge which has reinstated the railfreight link at Northfleet at a cost of £13mill. This opened in 2012.
- New and improved railway stations at Dartford (2013), Gillingham (2011) and Gravesend (2014), plus a new re-located station proposed at Rochester due to open in 2015.
- A new bus station in Chatham town centre as an integral part of improvements to public transport and pedestrian access and the quality of the public realm.
- Sittingbourne Northern Relief road, which opened in Dec 2011 to help reduce traffic within the town centre and the Rushenden Relief road which opened in Nov 2011 are together helping to unlock sites for future regeneration in Swale.