New Thames crossing vital to boosting local economy and access to better jobs

11 October 2018

Highways England has launched a ten-week consultation on the Lower Thames Crossing – a major new road which would nearly double road capacity across the river Thames and almost halve northbound journey times at Dartford Crossing.

The 14.5 mile route connecting Gravesham, Kent and Thurrock, Essex would be a three lane motorway connecting the M2 near Rochester and the M25 in Essex between North and South Ockendon. It would include a 2.4 mile-long tunnel under the Thames between the east of Gravesend and Tilbury – the longest road tunnel in the UK – and, at over 50 feet wide, the third largest bored tunnel in the world.

Commenting on the positive impact the new Crossing could have for businesses in Kent & Medway, Bernard Spring, Chairman of the North Kent Enterprise Zone Strategic Board, said:

“The North Kent Enterprise Zone is all about connectivity, collaboration and competitiveness. The Lower Thames Crossing will support all three objectives.  Even though delivery is some years in the future, the North Kent Enterprise Zone sites in Medway, Maidstone and Ebbsfleet will benefit from the new Crossing for decades to come – further improving access to markets, skilled employment and supply chains.

“We welcome this consultation on the detail of the proposed scheme. It’s vital that Highways England get the design right, not just on the Crossing but also on the other network improvements that are needed in Kent and Essex to ensure the whole system works smoothly.  I would encourage businesses and residents alike to look at the plans and respond to the consultation on this once in a generation project so that the final scheme is as good as it can be.”

Launching the consultation on 10 October, Tim Jones, Project Director for Lower Thames Crossing, said:

“For too long the Dartford Crossing has been the only way to get across the Thames east of London. It is a vital gateway, but carries more traffic than it was ever designed for and drivers there suffer from regular delays, severing communities and holding back economic growth.

“The Lower Thames Crossing is the most ambitious project of its kind ever in the UK and the biggest single road upgrade since the M25 was completed more than 30 years ago. It would almost double road capacity across the Thames to cut congestion, end the daily delays at the Dartford Crossing and boost the resilience of the whole road network. This consultation is an important opportunity for people to share their views on our proposals and help shape the Lower Thames Crossing.”

On the south side of the Thames, the new road will link the tunnel to the A2 and M2 in Kent. On the north side of the river, it will link to the A13 in Thurrock and then junction 29 of the M25 in the London Borough of Havering.

The Lower Thames Crossing will comprise:

  • A 2.4-mile (4km) tunnel
  • Approximately 14.5 miles (23km) of new road connecting the tunnel to the existing road network
  • 3 lanes in both directions with a maximum speed limit of 70mph
  • New structures (including bridges, viaducts and an underpass) along the length of the new road
  • Improvements to the M25, A2 and A13, where the Lower Thames Crossing connects to them

For information on the LTC consultation visit: www.lowerthamescrossing.co.uk/haveyoursay.

The consultation will run for 10 weeks, closing on 20 December. For more detail about public information events being held as part of the consultation, click here.

ENDS

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