Tunnel boosts vision for Enterprise Zone

10 May 2017

Partners behind the North Kent Enterprise Zone are viewing the Government’s announcement to give the go-ahead to the construction of a new Lower Thames Crossing as a major boost.

The announced route for the new Lower Thames Crossing (Option C) will, when complete, link the M25 between Junction 29 and 30, and cross the Thames via a bored tunnel east of Gravesend and Tilbury and connecting with the A2 east of Gravesend. This accords with Highways England’s preferred route (modified by opting for the western rather than eastern southern link) and is supported by South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), Locate in Kent, and business community.

As a result, traffic flows across north Kent and along the M2 and M20 are expected to improve, and make the Enterprise Zone’s sites at Ebbsfleet Garden City, Rochester Airport Technology Park in Medway and Kent Medical Campus in Maidstone even better connected to the wider region.

Christian Brodie, Chairman of SELEP, who championed the push for the Lower Thames Crossing and the recently launched Enterprise Zone, said: “This is excellent news as it will have a significant economic impact. The investments announced will strengthen the resilience of our UK and European connections – imperative as we now move towards Brexit.

“However, the benefits go far beyond Kent and Essex. With the current Dartford Crossing already operating at capacity and freight traffic continuing to grow, the new crossing will also support the Government’s wider economic aspirations for the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine.”

Stakeholders across the region, including the business community and SELEP, will be engaging positively with Ministers to ensure the process for planning and delivering the new road progresses without further delay, in order to relieve pressure on the existing crossing and community at Dartford.

ENDS

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