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Plan for £12m tunnel linking Bluewater and Ebbsfleet Garden City submitted

A planning application for a new £12 million tunnel linking Ebbsfleet Garden City to Bluewater has been submitted to the council.

The proposal from Kent County Council (KCC) for a Fastrack bus service, which would connect major developments in Dartford has been sent to the local authority.

An artist's design of the western approach of the proposed tunnel. Picture: KCC (21994522)
An artist's design of the western approach of the proposed tunnel. Picture: KCC (21994522)

It comes as construction for 6,250 homes at Eastern Quarry, known as Whitecliffe, continues.

The housing development is bordered by Bean Road and Bluewater on one side and Ebbsfleet International on the other.

Two haulage tunnels which were used during the construction of Bluewater in the 1990s were considered for this service, but an investigation into their potential found it would be more cost effective to build a new tunnel.

No objections were raised by the Environment Agency, who were consulted by KCC.

Earlier this year Mike Whiting, who was a county council member for highways at the time, said: "Fastrack is one of the core infrastructure projects for the Ebbsfleet Garden City and the completed scheme will contribute substantially to getting people onto public transport.

An artist's impression of what the tunnel would look like from the Fastrack spine approach. Picture: KCC(21994520)
An artist's impression of what the tunnel would look like from the Fastrack spine approach. Picture: KCC(21994520)

“In the design, every resident will be within 10 minutes of a Fastrack stop and 90% within five minutes ensuring residents and business users can move freely around the development and between housing, business and leisure locations.”

As part of the highway infrastructure for the development, a road network will be built which crosses the Spine Road and links to the existing Hedge End roundabout on Bean Road at the northern edge of Bluewater.

If given the green light works would be delivered by KCC using funding from the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and Bluewater.

The plans were unanimously endorsed by the environment and transport committee in July.

Read more: All the latest news from Gravesend

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