Next stop, fast buses to get roads moving
ASHFORD is another step closer to getting its promised super-modern rapid transport system after the Government allocated £530 million funding for 16 major projects across the South East.
They include the Smartlink scheme, designed to provide fast bus links serving residential and employment sites in and around the expanding town.
Announcing the go-ahead, SE England Transport Board chairman Nick Skillett said he was delighted the region had secured the funding after working with councils and partners in setting transport priorities.
The high-quality service will link future developments at Chilmington Green and Cheesemans Green and the main employment areas at Cobbs Wood and Orbital Park, Sevington, with the town centre, international and domestic stations, and the new park and ride sites.
Smartlink is expected to provide a high frequency service, with faster journeys into town than by car. The first phase is scheduled to become reality by 2012.
Andy Phillips, Ashford’s Future sustainable transport manager, said: “This is good news for Ashford that the Government has accepted the transport priorities from the regional transport board.
“The Smartlink scheme is still subject to approval from the county council and Department of Transport but this is a positive step towards delivering more sustainable transport to Ashford.”
An example of the rapid-transport Smartlink buses