Sheppey Crossing

Travel Information For The Isle Of Sheppey, Sittingbourne And Faversham

Swale has a good road network with Sittingbourne and Faversham lying along the A2 and close to the M2. For Sittingbourne and the Isle of Sheppey, use Junction 5 of the M2 and travel up the A249. For Faversham, use Juntion 6 of the M2. From the M20, use Junction 7 for Sittingbourne, Sheerness and Faversham, then follow road signs.

For up to date travel information on the region's roads, please visit the Kent Traffic Information website.

For information on the railway network including train times and maps, please visit the Southeastern Railway website.

Southeastern run the train service between London and Kent and operate the UK’s first domestic high speed service with Javelin trains to and from the Kent coast. Southeastern are committed to doing everything they can to help passengers feel safe and supported when travelling on their trains.
From 7 September they have boosted their train timetable, adding an extra 900 carriages and 50,000 seats to give better availability of trains and more space onboard to travel with confidence.
It is easy to plan your train journey using Southeasterns live departure boards or journey planner to find out when your next train is. You can check live train running times and search for any disruptions. Plus, their new Seatfinder tool will tell you how busy your train might be, a great help for social distancing. Visit their website to find out more.
You can buy Southeastern tickets at train stations or buy and download your tickets at home with their contactless smartcard The Key. You can buy single, return and season tickets on The Key so it’s totally flexible. The Key’s contactless technology allows you to hold the card over the reader at the ticket gate, you can fast-track through the station and avoid the queues.
It’s also wipeable and easy to clean, leaving you in control. Find out more here 
Southeastern are looking forward to welcoming more passengers back onto their trains, and you to please remember that face coverings are now mandatory on all trains and at stations.

Three companies run the buses in Swale towns, and details of their services can be found by following the external links, below.


Further Information

Traveling with Arriva is easier than ever. Plan your journey, track your bus in real-time , buy, store and activate tickets all in on one handy app. Search Arriva UK Bus app in your app store which is free to download.  You can also plan your journey, buy tickets and check out the latest news and offers online.

To plan your journey simply enter your location, your destination and the time and day you want to travel and it will give you all the buses available within an hour or your selected time.

You can chose locations by postcode, street name, bus stop, town or attraction and the journey planner will give you walking times to the nearest bus stop and service information. You can even track the bus as it arrives and as you are on it to make sure you get off at the right stop.
All Arriva buses and workspaces are COVID-19 secure. To find out more please visit www.arrivabus.co.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-safer-travel

Here you can find out more information and links to help plan your trip to Swale.

Kent Connected website is a free journey planner that empowers you to make smarter travel choices with your health, time, and the environment in mind. Kent Connected makes travel planning easy; it shows live bus and train times, and provides different route suggestions for walking and cycling and includes an integrated walking and cycling map to help ease any worries and get you on your way.

Download the Kent Connected App to your mobile device.

Government Guidance on Travelling Safely

Where you must wear face coverings

It is the law that you must wear a face covering when travelling in England on public transport. Such as, on a:

  • bus or coach
  • train or tram
  • ferry or hovercraft or other vessel
  • aircraft
  • cable car

You must also wear a face covering in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs from which passenger services operate. Such as:

  • airports
  • rail stations and terminals
  • the Channel Tunnel terminal in Kent
  • ports and terminals
  • bus, coach and tram stations and terminals

You must also wear a face covering in other indoor settings.

If you do not wear a face covering in these settings you will be breaking the law and could be fined. The fine for a first offence is £100, or £50 if you pay the fine within 14 days.

Repeat offenders receiving fines either on public transport or in an indoor place will have their fines doubled on each subsequent offence up to a maximum value of £3,200. After the first offence, there will be no discount. As an example, receiving a second fine will amount to £200 and a third fine will be £400. A sixth fine and all subsequent fines will be £3,200.

These laws apply while you are in England. If travelling from any other UK nation, you will be required to wear a face covering when you enter England, regardless of the rules in the nation you are transiting from.

Other areas you should wear a face covering

You must also wear a face covering by law in some other public places, unless you have a face covering exemption because of your age or health, or if you have a legitimate reason not to.

You are strongly encouraged to also wear a face covering in other enclosed spaces where it is difficult to maintain social distancing, or where there are people you do not normally meet. For example, in taxis and private hire vehicles. A taxi driver or private hire vehicle operator may be entitled to refuse to accept you if you do not wear a face covering.

The rule applies in situations where individuals from different households or support bubbles could be travelling together on a service such as a charter boat, but not if you are giving a lift to someone from another household or support bubble in your private car.

Face covering exemptions

Some people don’t have to wear a face covering including for health, age or disability reasons.

Government and some operators have produced cards and badges which you can choose to wear to show you are exempt. There is no requirement to do this though, and if you rely on an exemption, transport staff should not ordinarily ask for evidence.

Some transport staff may also not wear a face covering if it is not required for their job.

When you can remove your face covering

You should remove your face covering if asked to do so by a police officer or other relevant person.

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to.

You are also able to remove your face covering in order to eat and drink in pubs, restaurants or bars in a transport hub. Or if you are in an area within a transport hub where seating or tables are made available specifically for the purposes of eating and drinking, such as a food court.

It is important to wash or sanitise your hands before and after touching your face covering. For longer journeys, take more than one face covering and a plastic bag for used face coverings.

Please be mindful that the wearing of a face covering may inhibit communication with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound.

Disposing of used face coverings

Use a ‘black bag’ waste bin or litter bin to dispose of face coverings. You should not put face coverings in a recycling bin or drop them as litter.

Walking and cycling

Walk or cycle if you can.

This will reduce pressure on public transport and the road network.

Your local council can help you plan your journey by providing maps showing dedicated paths and routes.

Where possible, keep a suitable distance from other people. For example, when waiting at crossings and traffic lights. Take precautions where this is not possible.

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands before and after cycling.

Consider making a list of items to take with you.

Private cars and other vehicles

Plan your journey

Plan your route, including any breaks, before setting out. Routes may be different as local areas make changes to enable social distancing.

Check that your vehicle is safe and roadworthy if you haven’t used it for several weeks.

People from a household or support bubble can travel together in a vehicle.

You should wear a face covering in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people outside your household or support bubble. Take care to use face coverings properly.

Consider making a list of items to take with you.

Car sharing

You should try not to share a vehicle with those outside your household or support bubble. If you need to do this, try to:

  • share the transport with the same people each time
  • keep to small groups of up to 6 people at any one time
  • open windows for ventilation
  • travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
  • face away from each other
  • consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products - make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
  • ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering

On your journey

Expect more pedestrians and cyclists, especially at peak times of day. Where possible, allow other road users to maintain social distancing. For example, give cyclists space at traffic lights.

Limit the time you spend at garages, petrol stations and motorway services. Try to keep your distance from other people and if possible pay by contactless.

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands often, and always when exiting or re-entering your vehicle.

Completing your journey

When finishing your journey wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands as soon as possible

Public transport

You must wear a face covering on public transport and in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs in England. You will be breaking the law if you fail to do so and could be fined.

Some people don’t have to wear a face covering for health, age or disability reasons.

You should remove your face covering if asked to do so by a police officer or other relevant person.

It is important to wash or sanitise your hands before and after touching your face covering.

If you need to dispose of your face covering, use ‘black bag’ waste bins or litter bins. You should not use a recycling bin.

Plan your journey

Before and during your journey, check with your transport operator for the latest travel advice on your route:

Travel may take longer than normal on some routes due to social distancing measures. Allow more time if your journey involves changes between different forms of transport.

If you can:

  • travel at off-peak times
  • use quieter stations and stops – get off a stop early if it’s less busy
  • keep changes to a minimum, for example, between bus and train
  • walk for more of your journey, for example the first or last mile
  • book your tickets online in advance or pay by contactless

Consider making a list of items to take with you and minimise the luggage you take.

On your journey

You must wear a face covering on public transport and in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs in England. You will be breaking the law if you fail to do so and could be fined.

Some people don’t have to wear a face covering for health, age or disability reasons.

The risk of transmission is small at 2 metres and where possible, you should maintain 2 metres distance.

If you cannot keep a 2 metre distance, reduce the risk to yourself and others by maintaining a 1 metre distance where possible, and taking suitable precautions.

Help keep yourself, other passengers and transport staff safe by taking the following precautions:

  • ensure you maintain social distancing, where possible, including at busy entrances, exits, under canopies, bus stops, platforms or outside of stations
  • limit the number of people that you come into contact with, for example avoid peak travel
  • wash or sanitise your hands regularly
  • avoid touching your face
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing
  • travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
  • touch as few surfaces as possible
  • stay outdoors, rather than indoors, where possible
  • minimise the time spent close to other people, where possible
  • avoid loud talking, shouting or singing
  • dispose of waste safely, including items such as used disposable face coverings
  • be prepared to queue or take a different entrance or exit at stations
  • wait for passengers to get off first before you board
  • wait for the next service if you cannot safely keep your distance on board a train, bus or coach
  • avoid consuming food and drink on public transport, where possible
  • respect other people’s space while travelling
  • be aware of pregnant, older and disabled people who may require a seat or extra space
  • be aware that not all disability is visible and some people may be exempt from wearing a face covering

Treat transport staff with respect and follow instructions from your transport operator. This may include:

  • notices about which seats to use or how to queue
  • additional screens, barriers or floor markings
  • requests to board through different doors or to move to less busy areas

Seek assistance if you need it

If you require assistance when travelling, contact your transport operator as you would normally do.

If any problems arise or you feel ill during your journey, speak to a member of transport staff. In the case of an emergency, contact the emergency services as you normally would.

If you need help, try to keep a suitable distance from members of staff. If this isn’t possible, try to avoid physical contact and keep the time you spend near staff as short as possible.

Children

Where travel is necessary, consider whether children could walk or cycle, accompanied by a responsible adult or carer, where appropriate.

Social distancing applies to children as well as adults. Children should keep their distance from people who are not in their household or support bubble, while on public transport and in enclosed or substantially enclosed public areas of transport hubs. If this isn’t possible children should:

  • avoid physical contact
  • face away from others
  • keep the time spent near others as short as possible

Children under the age of 3 should not wear face coverings. Children aged from 3 to 10 can wear face coverings, but they are not required to.

If you are the responsible adult or carer travelling with children, please help them:

  • minimise the surfaces they touch
  • maintain their distance from others
  • wear their face covering
  • wash their hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands as soon as possible after the end of your journey

Where relevant, consider travel guidance for educational settings.

Completing your journey

When finishing your journey:

  • consider walking or cycling from the station or stop you arrived at
  • wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands as soon as possible - do the same for children who have travelled with you

Taxis and private hire vehicles

You should wear a face covering when using taxis or private hire vehicles. A taxi driver or private hire vehicle operator may be entitled to refuse to accept you if you do not wear a face covering.

The risk of transmission is small at 2 metres and where possible, you should maintain 2 metres distance.

If you cannot keep a 2 metre distance, reduce the risk to yourself and others by maintaining a 1 metre distance where possible, and taking suitable precautions.

Follow the advice of the driver. For example, you may be asked to sit in the back left-hand seat if travelling alone. You may want to check with your taxi or private hire operator before travelling if they have put any additional measures in place.

You should use contactless payment if possible, or find out if you can pay online in advance.

Be aware of the surfaces you touch. Be careful not to touch your face. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing.

When finishing your journey wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands as soon as possible.

Aviation, ferries and maritime transport

You must wear a face covering when travelling on a ferry, hovercraft (or other passenger vessel) or aircraft in England.

This applies:

  • in English airspace, when you are on board an aircraft which took off from, or is to land at, a place in England
  • in the English territorial sea, when you are on board a vessel which departed from, or is to dock at, a place in England

You must also wear a face covering at airports as well as at ports and terminals used by vessels providing a public transport service.

If you do not wear a face covering in these settings you will be breaking the law and could be fined.

Some people don’t have to wear a face covering for health, age or disability reasons.

It is important to wash or sanitise your hands before and after touching your face covering.

Plan your journey

Before you travel, check with your travel operator and port, or airline and airport for the latest travel advice on your route.

There is specific guidance for passengers in airports and on aircraft.

Consider making a list of items to take with you.

On your journey

The risk of transmission is small at 2 metres and where possible, you should maintain 2 metres distance.

If you cannot keep a 2 metre distance, reduce the risk to yourself and others by maintaining a 1 metre distance where possible, and taking suitable precautions.

Be aware of the surfaces you touch. Be careful not to touch your face. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing.

Be considerate to your fellow passengers and to transport staff:

Treat transport staff with respect and follow instructions from your transport operator. This may include:

  • notices about which seats to use or how to queue
  • additional screens, barriers or floor markings
  • requests to board through different doors or to move to less busy areas

Completing your journey

When finishing your journey wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands as soon as possible.

People who do not have to wear a face covering on public transport and in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs

The requirement to wear a face covering does not apply to:

  • a child under the age of 11
  • passengers in an allocated cabin, berth or other similar accommodation, when they are alone or with members of their household or support bubble
  • passengers who remain in their private vehicle while on board public transport, for example on a car ferry
  • a person who enters or is within a transport hub in a vehicle (other than a vehicle being used for the provision of a public transport service)
  • an employee of the transport hub or the relevant public transport operator, when they are acting in the course of their employment
  • any other person providing services to the transport hub or public transport operator, under arrangements made with the transport hub or transport operator, who is providing those services
  • a constable or police community support officer acting in the course of their duty
  • an emergency responder such as a paramedic or fire officer acting in the course of their duty
  • an official, for example a border force officer, acting in the course of their duties

Legitimate reasons not to wear a face covering

You also do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes:

  • if you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
  • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress
  • if you are travelling with, or providing help to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • if you are travelling to avoid injury or escape the risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
  • if you need to remove it during your journey to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
  • if you need to eat, drink, or take medication on public transport
  • if you are asked to remove your face covering by a police officer or other official, for example to check your railcard
  • in other situations set out in further government face covering guidance

Enforcement of face coverings on public transport and in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs

You are not allowed to get on public transport or enter substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs if you are not wearing a face covering, unless you have an exemption or a legitimate reason for not wearing one. Transport staff may tell you not to board or ask you to get off.

If you refuse to wear a face covering, you can receive a fine from the police or Transport for London enforcement officers. The fixed penalty notice will require you to pay £100, which is reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.

Repeat offenders receiving fines either on public transport or in an indoor place will have their fines doubled on each subsequent offence up to a maximum value of £3,200. After the first offence, there will be no discount. As an example, receiving a second fine will amount to £200 and a third fine will be £400. A sixth fine and all subsequent fines will be £3,200.

Checklists for safer travel

Plan your journey

  • can I walk or cycle to my destination?
  • have I checked the latest travel advice from my transport operator?
  • have I booked my travel ticket online, bought a pass or checked if contactless payment is possible?
  • have I planned my journey to minimise crowded areas and allow for delays?
  • am I taking the most direct route to my destination?

What to take with you

  • a face covering -for longer journeys, take more than one face covering and a plastic bag for used face coverings
  • a plan for the journey
  • tickets, contactless payment card or pass
  • phone, if needed for travel updates, tickets, contactless payments
  • hand sanitiser
  • essential medicines
  • tissues