Dartford town centre improvements

The scheme consists of various transport measures and public realm improvements for the town centre.

The works will consist of improvements to:

  • several junctions
  • pedestrian and cycle connections to the railway station
  • bus journeys, giving priority for buses through the town centre.

This scheme is being led by Dartford Borough Council. The work is part of a wider programme aimed at improving the economic performance of Dartford town centre through public sector funding of transport/public realm improvements.

Phase 1: Market Street

The Market Street improvements involve the creation of a civic space linking the High Street with Central Park, the Acacia complex and a mixed-use development to the south of the town centre. The changes will consist of:

  • the introduction of a ‘market square’ to create a pedestrian-friendly environment by reducing the road space and use of buses along this stretch
  • simplifying the road and footway layout to increase safety and ensure the design will no longer act as a barrier to pedestrian and cycle movements between the High Street and Central Park
  • the use of high quality natural stone materials and introduction of pocket parks to improve the environment aesthetics.

Phase 1a: High Street

Dartford High Street last experienced significant improvements over 30 years ago meaning there is currently widespread surface water ponding and uneven surfaces caused by settlement. Improvements will include:

  • resurfacing the High Street using high quality natural stone materials
  • full upgrade of One Bell Corner including public artwork and a green wall
  • mechanisms to improve access to the street on market days
  • shop and frontage improvements via separate funding.

Phase 2: Lowfield Street/Instone Road and West Hill/Highfield Road junctions

The improvement of these junctions is crucial to maintain accessible ‘gateways’ to the town centre. This phase will involve the introduction of technology to manage queuing, link the junctions and to improve pedestrian and cycle flows.

Phase 3: Hythe Street and Spital Street

The Hythe Street improvements involve reducing the traffic dominance creating a pedestrian friendly environment. The surfacing will again use high quality natural stone materials. This will improve the connection to between the town centre and Dartford Station.

Phase 4: Westgate Road/Hythe Road junction and Prospect Place/Kent Road junction

These junctions are a vital ‘gateway’ to the town centre. This phase will involve the introduction of technology to manage queuing at these junctions, links to other junctions and to improve pedestrian and cycle flows.

Scheme funding

The Dartford Town Centre scheme is a £12 million project to be delivered. £4.3 million Local Growth Fund has been allocated to the project, with a further £7.7million provided by the Kent Thameside Strategic Transport Infrastructure Programme (STIP). Dartford Borough Council are contributing the remaining funding for the scheme.

Scheme documents

View the Dartford Town Centre improvement phase plan (PDF, 2.8 MB)

Dartford is experiencing considerable growth in employment and housing.

The project is being progressed due to the high levels of housing developments, and future growth in the town. The scheme will maintain the current highway network, and create an attractive public space to help the growth.

Scheme objectives

The objectives of this scheme are to:

  • provide a sustainably accessible, high quality, competitive town centre
  • create civic spaces facilitating community cohesion
  • make the town centre a destination for leisure-based activities
  • reduce local car travel by residents and workers in the immediate vicinity of the town centre to improve air quality levels
  • providing high quality green spaces for residents including planters and additional trees to connect the High Street with Central Park
  • make sustainable models more attractive alternatives to the car, through the provision of better-connected routes between residential areas and the town centre
  • encourage a shift to bus and rail travel when visiting the town centre.

Formal decision

The decision by the SELEP Accountability Board to grant Local Growth Funding for the Dartford Town Centre regeneration scheme was made on the 27 April 2018.

Phase 1: Market Street

Works on Phase 1 are complete, with monitoring works ongoing.

Phase 1a: High Street

Works on Phase 1a are largely complete. Works to One Bell Corner and the western end of the High Street will take place in spring 2023.

Phase 2: Lowfield Street/Instone Road and West Hill/Highfield Road junctions

Construction will start in spring 2023 and is due to be completed by winter 2023.

Later phases

The later phases are currently being designed. This includes:

  • Phase 3: Hythe Street.
  • Phase 3a: Spital Street.
  • Phase 4: Westgate Road/Hythe Road junction and Prospect Place/Kent Road junction.

Funded by

The government Growth Deal provides money to the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, funding projects which drive Kent’s economic and business growth.