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About Fastway

Fastway is the smart choice of travel around Crawley, Horley and Gatwick.

Operating along sections of guided busway and dedicated bus lanes, Fastway has been specially designed to speed past congestion hotspots and offers a comfortable, reliable and efficient alternative to travel by car.

Fastway's satellite-based technology also displays up to the minute timetable information to passengers, tracks the location of vehicles to help maintain schedules and gives priority at traffic lights.

Fastway buses are smart and easily recognisable, and have well appointed interiors with comfortable individual seating and space for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Other features include:

  • Dedicated bus lanes and guideways to avoid other traffic
  • Priority at junctions for buses over other traffic
  • Improved journey times and reliability
  • Real-time passenger information on board the buses and on halts
  • Low-floor access for mobility impaired passengers and parents with toddlers and pushchairs
  • Environmentally friendly low-noise, low vibration and low-emission engines
  • CCTV cameras for passenger safety and driver awareness

Frequently Asked Questions

Why a guided bus, not a tram or light rail service?

The 'Urban Transport Plan' for Crawley (June 1996) recognised a primary need for improved public transport provision. A guided bus system emerged as the best solution for the area because it can access residential areas, is not constrained by a costly fixed infrastructure and power supplies, minimises land use without cluttering the street scene and is a flexible option, which can be expanded and adapted to meet local changes and demands. A tram would have taken 10 years to construct, at 10 times the cost of Fastway.

What is the purpose of the guideways?

The guideways shorten journey time by speeding Fastway buses past traffic hot spots at major junctions and are self-enforcing, preventing unauthorised vehicles from using them. The Fastway route stretches some 24km, which includes several sections of guideway with a combined length of approximately 1.5km. The guideways are not required along stretches of the route where buses can travel unhindered in dedicated bus lanes.

Why is there a rising bollard at Broadfield Stadium, Crawley?

A short stretch of road was constructed near Broadfield Stadium to provide a bus-only link between Coachmans Drive and the A23 Brighton Roundabout. The link road is for exclusive use by Fastway buses in order to minimise journey times, and the bollards are in place to prevent it being used by unauthorised vehicles, and to protect local residents from an unwanted increase in traffic volume.

How does Fastway affect other road users and other bus services?

One of the key benefits of Fastway is that it offers an attractive alternative to the private car, without affecting other road users.

What was done to protect the trees and plants on the route?

Wherever possible mature trees were left in place, However, when trees and shrubs had to be removed, at least two new trees were planted in replacement.

Who is behind Fastway?

Fastway is supported by the Department for Transport and promoted by a consortium of Partner organisations: West Sussex County Council, Surrey County Council, Crawley Borough Council, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, BAA Gatwick, British Airways, the Go Ahead Group and Metrobus, who operate the Fastway service.

The Fastway Partners agreed a Quality Bus Partnership in February 2002, with a statement of intent pledging their commitment to co-operative working to improve bus services in the area. The main objective set out in this agreement was to work in partnership to achieve higher bus usage, resulting in lower car use. 

Fastway Project 

Building Fastway

The construction of the Fastway infrastructure, beginning in May 2002, was divided into three phases:

Phase One — 1500 metres of conventional bus lane, including a contraflow bus lane in Crawley High Street which enables Fastway buses to go against traffic flow on a one-way system, thereby reducing journey times; 650 metres of bus guideway; construction of open-span bus-only bridge and link road access across Broadfield Brook, alongside the Crawley Town Football Club Stadium.

Phase Two — 1690 metres of conventional bus lane, including a dedicated bus lane straight across the centre of Tushmore roundabout; 250 metres of bus guideway, passing down the centre of London Road; modification of five road junctions, including the removal and replacement of two main roundabouts by County Mall with traffic light controls.

Phase Three — 2660 metres of conventional bus lane; 500 metres of bus guideway; construction of a freeflow sliproad on the approach to Longbridge roundabout. The freeflow sliproad was constructed on a propped cantilever to ensure the flood plain was preserved.

The opportunity was also taken to add value to the Fastway infrastructure by improving cycle and pedestrian facilities at the 40 signalised junctions that have been improved or introduced as part of this scheme.

Fastway Update - Newsletter Archive

Newsletters issued during the construction phase can be downloaded below. Please note that the telephone numbers shown in the newsletters are no longer active.

Issue 1
Issue 2
Issue 3
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Issue 6
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Issue 8
Issue 9
Issue 10
Issue 11
Issue 12
Issue 13