As part of the Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced £9.5 million will be awarded to Kent County Council (KCC) from the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme.
Kent’s first zero-emission bus service
This investment includes both the existing Kent Thameside network and the new Dover Fastrack service, due to arrive in 2023. It will make Fastrack Kent’s first zero-emission bus service.
The investment follows a successful and innovative trial in 2018, when KCC worked in partnership with Volvo to bring their electric bus demonstrator to the Fastrack network.
Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier, said: “I am absolutely delighted the team has been able to secure this investment for Fastrack, for the communities it serves and the benefits it will bring for future electrification of buses.
“Going for zero-emission was at the top of our wish list for Fastrack and I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who has used or worked on this service.
“Beyond electrification, we have been listening to our customers, to see how we can tailor our vehicles better to meet their needs.
“I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for this part of our transport portfolio.”
Improving air quality
Fastrack is already proving to be a force for improving air quality and this money will further enhance this objective in the areas of Dartford, Gravesham and Dover.
Furthermore, this work shows the cooperation between KCC and local providers to follow the Government’s wider National Bus Strategy, Bus Back Better.