96 bus route could be running via Darent Valley Hospital by the end of October
PUBLISHED: 10:06 21 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:10 26 September 2017
A public consultation is underway
Passengers on board the 96 bus route may be able to stop at Darent Valley Hospital by the end of next month, following a consultation.
Last week Transport for London launched a consultation on changing the bus route to run via dedicated lanes used exclusively by Fastrack buses.
In July, Bexley council successfully lobbied Transport for London and Kent County Council for the 96 to use the Fastrack lane heading in and out of Bluewater shopping centre.
Transport for London is now running a consultation on changing the route, which currently runs between Woolwich and Bluewater via Welling, Bexleyheath, Crayford and Dartford.
The consultation suggests: “From Dartford town centre, buses would run along East Hill, Park Road and Princes Road to Gore Road. Here they would join the Fastrack system to Darent Valley Hospital and onto Bluewater using the dedicated busways. Buses would only serve stops in Dartford town centre, Darent Valley Hospital and Bluewater.”
A spokesperson from Transport for London said: “Rerouting along the Fastrack network will shorten journey times, improve access to Darent Valley Hospital and ensure buses can run reliably, unhindered by the ebb and flow of general traffic to Bluewater.
“It creates many new opportunities for people in Welling, Bexleyheath and Crayford to travel directly to the hospital.”
Dartford MP Gareth Johnson addded: “It is good to see the 96 bus route being reviewed, it is something we have been asking them to do for a long time. If an agreement can be made to use the Fastrack lanes, then I hope the bus could stop at other places on the way to Bluewater in addition to Darent Valley Hospital.”
Subject to consultation responses and written agreement from KCC, TfL intend that buses will start using the new route from October 28 2017.
A consultation on the proposed route change closes on October 9 but Bexley Conservatives’ group says the route has already been “secured”.
A spokesperson from Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “We welcome the proposed changes to the 96 bus route. Anything that improves access to the hospital and helps patients and visitors to leave their cars at home is most welcome. The new route would benefit the residents of Welling, Bexleyheath and Crayford making travelling to and from the hospital far easier.”
Bexleyheath and Crayford MP David Evennett said: “This is really good news. I’ve been campaigning with local councillors and residents on this for a long time and this decision will make a real difference to my constituents.”
Have your say on the consultation via:
Post: Freepost TFL CONSULTATIONS
We have approached Kent County Council for comment.