Plans for a new Lower Thames crossing to reduce congestion and boost growth were put forward today (21 May 2013) by Roads Minister Stephen Hammond.
The consultation is the first step in deciding on the location of a new lower Thames road crossing. The government has put forward 3 options to tackle the current congestion and capacity issues plaguing motorists in the area on a daily basis.
The 3 possible options are:
- option A: at the site of the existing A282 Dartford-Thurrock crossing
- option B: connecting the A2 Swanscombe Peninsula with the A1089
- option C: connecting the M2 with the A13 and the M25 between junctions 29 and 30
- the variant to option C would additionally widen the A229 between the M2 and M20
Roads Minister Stephen Hammond said:
With traffic levels expected to increase by a fifth over the next 30 years, it is vital we take action now on the future of a new Lower Thames crossing to make sure that our road network is able to meet the future economic needs of the country.
There are some tough decisions to be made, but this is the first step in making sure that the residents, businesses and motorists who rely on the crossing receive the service they expect and deserve in the years to come.
I encourage anyone who uses the existing crossing or has an interest in the location of the new crossing to let us have their views on these proposals. This will enable us to make the right decision on the location of the new crossing.
There are several ways to find out more information, either through the department’s website or by attending one of the public information events being held next month in the Lower Thames area. They are:
- Thursday 13 June, Dartford Library, Central Park, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1EU from 2 to 8pm;
- Saturday 15 June, Grays Library, Orsett Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 5DX from 10am to 5pm;
- Monday 17 June, Chadwell Information Centre, Brentwood Road, Chadwell St Mary, Grays, Essex, RM16 4JP from 2 to 7pm;
- Thursday 20 June, Bluewater (Thames Walk at the entrance to the plaza), Greenhithe, Kent, DA9 9ST from 10am to 9pm;
- Friday 21 June, Lakeside (level two near the customer service desk), West Thurrock Way, Grays, Essex, RM20 2ZP from 10am to 10pm; and
- Saturday 22 June, Gravesend library, Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 1BE from 9am to 5pm.
The events are a chance for all those who are interested in the proposals to speak directly to member of the consultation team. For those who can not make it along to an event, the relevant information will also be available to view and download from the department’s website.
Anybody interested in commenting on the proposed location options can have their say by completing the online response form on the department’s website or by submitting the response form by email or post. All responses need to be submitted by the Tuesday 16 July 2013, when the consultation will close. Decisions following this consultation will be announced in the autumn 2013.
Notes to editors
The consultation on the option details for the new Lower Thames Crossing, along with access to the online response form, maps and a video are available to view online.
The department’s spending review 2010 announcement committed to review the options for increasing crossing capacity.
All the 3 options have been proposed based on a number of successive studies investigating the need for additional crossing capacity in the lower Thames area and its location.
A decision on where to locate a new Lower Thames Crossing will be based on consideration of economic, environmental and social impacts including the extent to which a new crossing at each location contributes to the national economy, reduces congestion and greenhouse gas emissions and avoids unacceptable impacts on environmentally sensitive areas. The decision will also be informed by potential cost, affordability and value for money implications.
The existing Dartford-Thurrock crossing experiences high levels of traffic with typical daily traffic flows of 140,000 vehicles compared to the original design capacity of the crossing which was 135,000.
Traffic flows are expected to increase by 10 to 20 per cent southbound and by 2 to 10% northbound between 2009 and 2041 (see p12 of the consultation document).