More frequent bus services for Kent Thameside
We're making changes to some of our bus routes and times in the Kent Thameside area from Sunday 9th August, with some big improvements across the area.
There will be more frequent buses for some parts of Kent Thameside, high-quality Sapphire buses for Riverview Park, brand-new buses for Fastrack services and new links for several areas.
Some services will be given new numbers and some routes will be linked differently.
To find out more about the changes click the tabs below.
The 'general overview' tab gives you a summary of the main changes and the service-by-service tab lists all our services in the Kent Thameside area, with full details of what is happening to your local bus route.
The other tabs summarise the changes specifically for those areas affected by the changes.
New timetable leaflets for the services that are altering will be available well in advance of the start date and the new times will be available online by mid-July.
There will be changes to most routes serving Gravesend, with increased frequencies or revised routes on some, new service numbers for others and brand-new buses for Fastrack B.
The main changes affect the frequency of Sapphire Services 480 and 490, and a renumbering of Services 495, 496, 498 and 499 to reflect different routeings for these services.
Sapphire buses to run more frequently
The frequency of the Sapphire services will be increased so that they run every seven or eight minutes over the section of route between Greenhithe, Gravesend and Valley Drive. Beyond Greenhithe they will run every fifteen minutes to Bluewater and every fifteen minutes to Dartford, giving improved frequencies on those sections of route.
At Valley Drive, alternate buses will run either to the existing Mackenzie Way terminus or will run from Valley Drive via St. Hilda’s Way to Riverview Park, doubling the number of buses between the town centre and Riverview Park.
Due to the popularity of the late night and early morning buses, the Sapphire service will be extended to provide a twenty-four hour, seven day a week service. Extra buses will run every two hours during the middle of the night.
Following the trial use of double-deck buses to Sapphire specification on these routes, we will be adding another four such buses to the fleet for the 9th August changes, all fitted with free on-board Wi-Fi, next-stop audio-visual displays, three-pin and USB power sockets next to each seat and eco-leather seating.
You can view the new Sapphire 480/490 map here.
Big changes for the 495, 496, 498 and 499
The existing service to Riverview Park, the 499, will run as at present to and from Gravesend town centre but will be numbered 481. Beyond Gravesend it will run via Perry Street, Coldharbour Road, Dene Holm Road, Painters Ash and Waterdales to Pepper Hill and then direct to Bluewater, running every fifteen minutes. Unlike the 499, it will not serve Ebbsfleet International Station or Swanscombe.
Services 495, 496 and 498 between Kings Farm, Gravesend, Perry Street, Painters Ash, Pepper Hill, Ebbsfleet and Bluewater will be completely revised and renumbered 482 and 483. For full details of how the routes will change in the section between Perry Street and Bluewater, click the ‘Coldharbour, Painters Ash, Pepper Hill and Perry Street’ tab.
At Kings Farm, the route will be simplified so that all service 483 buses will run via Christianfields Avenue and Ash Road instead of the northern end of Wilberforce Way or Hawkins Avenue and Cedar Avenue.
The frequency of Service 489 to Southfleet, Longfield and New Ash Green will be reduced to run every two hours sue to insufficient use being made of the existing frequency. Between Longfield and New Ash Green, there will be a half-hourly frequency provided by the 489 and Services 423 and 433.
Services 306 and 308 will be revised so that they run only between Gravesend and Sevenoaks for most of the day. They will continue to run to and from Bluewater via Northfleet and Swanscombe during the evening and on Sundays.
Because of the additional Sapphire buses that will be using Garrick Street, Service 190 buses to the Medway Towns will depart from Clive Road instead of Garrick Street.
Brand-new buses for Fastrack
Brand-new low-carbon buses will be entering service on Fastrack B during July, bringing additional features to the route, such as three-pin and USB power points by each seat, eco-leather seating, full rear destination and service number displays as well as free on-board Wi-Fi and next-stop audio-visual displays.
The frequency of Fastrack B will stay as at present for most of the day, but the peak-time service on Mondays to Fridays will be improved to run every nine minutes.