Go-Ahead wins contract to operate Kent’s Fastrack bus system

Posted: 14 June 2023 | | No comments yet

As part of the £110 million contract, The Go-Ahead Group will operate Kent’s Fastrack bus rapid transit system, adding a new fleet of zero-emission, electric buses from November 2024.

Go-Ahead wins contract to operate Kent's Fastrack bus system

Credit: Go-Ahead Group

The Go-Ahead Group has announced that it has secured a £110 million contract from Kent County Council to operate the Fastrack bus rapid transit system in Kent, UK, for a duration of 15 years. Starting from November 2024, the Go-Ahead London division will take charge of the service and introduce a new fleet of zero-emission electric buses across the Dartford, Bluewater, Ebbsfleet and Gravesham areas.

Kent’s Fastrack network plays a vital role in providing access to employment, education, healthcare and shopping in a region experiencing rapid economic growth and significant regeneration. To enhance the service, Go-Ahead is in discussions to introduce 28 state-of-the-art Irizar ie Trams powered by inverted electric pantograph technology. These trams, already operational on Go-Ahead London routes, offer features such as leather seats, USB chargers, Wi-Fi, braille buttons, luggage racks and real-time passenger information.

The Fastrack network offers a reliable and frequent “turn up and go” service, presenting a viable alternative to car travel for local journeys. A majority of the routes are designed on dedicated busways, ensuring smooth transit without traffic congestion.

This contract will result in the addition of 100 employees to The Go-Ahead Group, aligning with its Next Billion Journeys strategy to expand its presence in the UK bus and passenger transport market. Go-Ahead plans to leverage its transport apprenticeship scheme to recruit staff for the Fastrack project.

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Christian Schreyer, Chief Executive of The Go-Ahead Group, said: “Kent’s Fastrack network is a fantastic blueprint for the future of bus travel, on dedicated busways away from traffic congestion. Go-Ahead will make this a zero-emission service and will deploy comfortable, modern, state-of-the-art ieTrams to enhance passengers’ journeys.”

Councillor David Brazier, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Kent County Council, said: “Fastrack’s new zero-emission fleet will further improve air quality and visibly set the trend for local communities and other industries. Through the National Bus Strategy, Kent County Council is working even closer with our bus operators, and it is only through these strong partnerships that we can achieve the bold ambitions that we have set for ourselves.”

Kent County Council, under the National Bus Strategy, aims to foster closer collaboration with bus operators to achieve their ambitious goals.