The Fastrack bus flies the pollinator flag with the Plan Bee design
A new bus with the eye-catching logo of Kent’s Plan Bee, the county’s strategy to help pollinators, has just joined the fleet of Kent Thameside’s rapid transit service, FastTrack.
The double-decker bus, operated by Go Coaches, promotes Kent County Council’s Plan Bee pollinator action plan as it travels between Dartford and Gravesend.
Images of the Shrill Carder Bee, England’s rarest bumblebee, adorn the rear and sides of the bus. They were chosen as the symbol for Fastrack because Thameside is one of the three remaining small areas in England where it is located.
One of the goals of KCC’s Pollinator Action Plan is to bring KCC land under management that will benefit pollinators by creating and restoring sites and habitats where a diversity of pollinator insects can feed and take shelter.
KCC’s Fastrack rapid transit service and the Plan Bee team are working to create a number of features across the Fastrack network between Dartford, Ebbsfleet and Gravesend that will help boost local populations in this rare wild bee and other pollinators.
Slices include flower-rich roadside borders that are seeded with wildflower mixes and managed to support various flower and grass mixes.
KCC Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, David Brazier, said: “The new Plan Bee bus creates a striking icon for Fastrack. Fastrack’s success is based on providing a high quality, modern and environmentally friendly public transport system in this rapidly developing area of Kent.
“The Plan Bee bus symbolizes Fastrack’s commitment to achieving the highest standards for passengers and commuters, while respecting and enhancing the natural environment and wildlife of this region.”
Susan Carey, KCC Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “I really welcome this initiative which improves road sides and bus stops (buzz) for bees and other pollinators, as well as raising awareness of the strident carder bee and Kent’s plane bee. Other benefits are a more attractive environment and cleaner air for Kent residents.
There are 10 pollinator road shoulders along dedicated and shared Fastrack bus routes in the Dartford area, with plans for more in Ebbsfleet and Gravesend as well as green-roofed bus shelters.
Kent’s Plan Bee is supported by other conservation organizations and charities including the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.
Bumblebee Conservation Trust chief executive Gill Perkins said: “We are delighted to have our logo and that of the Kent Wildlife Trust appear on this high profile Plan Bee bus.
“The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is working across England and Wales to implement the Shrill carder bee recovery strategy to secure a better future for this rare and declining wild pollinator.
“This joint work between Fastrack and Plan Bee is an important part of this national recovery strategy and the bus provides a focus for our conservation work.”
Visit Kent’s Plan Bee: https://www.kent.gov.uk/environment-waste-and-planning/nature-and-biodiversity/pollinators/
Bumblebee Conservation Trust https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/about-us/
Kent Wildlife Trust https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/