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Amazon launches new 24/7 bus service to serve huge new warehouse in Dartford


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A new 24/7 bus service has launched to serve Amazon's huge new 'fulfilment' centre in Dartford.

The £205m warehouse – which the retailer refers to as a 'fulfilment centre' because "the entire [packing] process is fulfilled from start to finish" – is based on the site of the decommissioned Littlebrook Power Station, next to the tunnel approach on the River Thames.

Amazon has teamed up to launch its own bus service Fastrack AZ to serve its huge new fulfilment centre in Dartford. Photo: WilliamjlPhotography
Amazon has teamed up to launch its own bus service Fastrack AZ to serve its huge new fulfilment centre in Dartford. Photo: WilliamjlPhotography

It is set to open this month and the online retail giant says it will create 1,300 jobs.

But with gridlock traffic a regular occurrence near the Dartford Crossing the retailer has not made any provision for on-site parking.

Instead it is offering new employees a range of different journey options.

This includes a free shuttle bus service from Dartford Station and Gravesend to the warehouse and back, free park and ride services from Ebbsfleet station, as well as subsidised bus trips from Woolwich Arsenal DLR station and Thamesmead.

Amazon has also reached an agreement with Kent County Council and Dartford council to use parts of the existing Fasttrack bus service.

Amazon's new AZ Fastrack bus route. Photo: Go-Coach/go-fastrack
Amazon's new AZ Fastrack bus route. Photo: Go-Coach/go-fastrack

Together with transport operator Go Coach it has launched a new 24-hour bus route, Fastrack AZ which went live yesterday and will run seven days a week.

It is understood the route will serve both Amazon employees and the general public wishing to use it.

This will run from Dartford's revamped Acacia Hall development to the new depot off Rennie Drive, labelled LCY3.

It then heads eastwards via Greenhithe, Swanscombe, Ebbsfleet and Gravesend.

Frequencies are every 15 minutes during the day and 30 minutes overnight with a £1 single fare for those alighting between Dartford and the new warehouse and £2.50 for those outside.

Planning approval was granted to Tritax Big Box, the company behind the construction scheme last year, after confirming a contract with a "world-leading online retailer".

Amazon's huge new fulfilment centre off Rennie Drive, Dartford. Photo: WilliamjlPhotography
Amazon's huge new fulfilment centre off Rennie Drive, Dartford. Photo: WilliamjlPhotography

The logistics park was earmarked as being inside a critical "last journey" location inside the M25 and is among the largest in Europe.

Amazon is currently recruiting for warehouse operatives at its Powerhouse Drive site for a variety of full time day and night shifts.

Construction got underway last summer when the project was endorsed by Thames Estuary Envoy Kate Willard.

Demand for warehouse space next to the Dartford Crossing is currently booming.

Online shopping has spiked during the pandemic with retailers increasingly looking for large warehouses and logistics parks to base their operations.

Last year Dartford council approved two applications for a further five warehouses next to the Crossing.

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