Colas gets fast-tracked in Dover

Colas UK Projects Ltd has won an £18m contract with Kent County Council (KCC) for the construction of the rapid bus transit system, Dover Fastrack.

The system will provide the county's first zero-emission bus service connecting Whitfield with Dover town centre and Dover Priory railway station.

Construction on the project includes building a new bus, cycle and pedestrian-only bridge across the A2 at Whitfield, and a new link road from the B&Q roundabout in Whitfield to Dover Road at Guston.

The junction with Dover Road will be for buses, bicycles, and pedestrians only.

KCC is managing the delivery of the project on behalf of Dover District Council (DDC) with two councils are working together to meet a shared ambition to see the district and county become carbon neutral by 2050.

The scheme was backed by central government with £22.9m from Homes England through the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

The work is due to start this month is expected to take around 18 months.

Colas will plant over 10,000 new trees, shrubs and hedgerow trees and provide enhanced wildlife habitat in the area, as part of the scheme.

A fleet of new electric buses will operate on Dover Fastrack. KCC worked with Volvo to trial the electric alternative in 2018 and has been awarded funding as part of the Department for Transport’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme.

Dover Fastrack will also create a transport interchange with high-speed train services from Dover Priory railway station, and will provide a quick and easy way to reach the town centre and Dover Castle.

Cllr Trevor Bartlett, leader of Dover District Council, said: 'Dover Fastrack represents the biggest investment in public transport in Dover for many years and is key to the delivery of new housing at Whitfield and the former Connaught Barracks site, and our ambitions to cut carbon emissions.'

David Brazier, KCC’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: 'It is vitally important that public transport provision is extended and improved, and the Dover Fastrack is a major step forward with that ambition.'

The project will create local employment opportunities and Colas will also use a significant number of Kent-based SMEs as part of the supply chain, which will help to maximise local economic benefits. The team will arrange STEM awareness sessions in schools, colleges, and universities.

Executive director at Colas Sean Jeffery said: 'Colas is delighted to have been awarded this project and the team are looking forward to continuing to work with Kent County Council developing projects that support Kent County Council’s ambition to be net zero.'

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