Video calling for responses to the new Lower Thames Crossing consultation.
I’m at the Dartford-Thurrock crossing. This is the only river crossing situated to the east of London and has been providing a vital north-south connection since the west tunnel opened back in 1963.
Since then it’s been redeveloped to accommodate increasing traffic flows. The east tunnel opened in 1980 and this iconic cable-stayed bridge opened to traffic in 1991.
It’s a key link for many business travellers, haulage companies and holidaymakers travelling to and from Europe via the channel ports and the Channel Tunnel. But the volumes of traffic mean that the existing crossing has outgrown its capacity. Congestion and delay are major problems, and it’s expected to get worse in future.
The crossing is within the Thames Gateway area where major redevelopment is planned. This means it has a much higher population growth forecast than other parts of the country, and with this increase in population, inevitably comes traffic.
Congestion is bad for our health, bad for the environment and frustrating for drivers. It also has serious implications for the economy.
Government recognises the strategic importance of the Dartford-Thurrock crossing as part of our road network. That’s why the need for additional crossing capacity in the lower Thames area was acknowledged in the 2010 comprehensive spending review announcement.
The problem can only be addressed by creating an additional crossing. So the question is: where should the new crossing be located? The government has been assessing the possible options and is currently consulting on where it could best be accommodated.
The decision on where to locate a new crossing will depend on a number of economic, social and environmental factors. And we’d value your views too on these three possible locations.
Option A would add a new crossing at the site of the existing crossing on the A282 between Dartford and Thurrock.
Option B would involve a new route to connect the A2 south of the river at the Swanscombe Peninsula with the A1089 north of the river.
And option C would connect the M2 in Kent with the A13 and the M25 between junctions 29 and 30 in Essex.
We’ve also suggested a variant for option C which would not only connect the M2 with the A13 and the M25 between junctions 29 and 30, but also widen the A229 between the M2 and the M20.
There is still a long way to go before any new crossing will be built. Deciding on the location is just the first stage. Details on how the options perform against each other can be found in the consultation document along with further details on how the options were assessed.
There will be further consultations on the type of crossing, for example will it be a tunnel or a bridge? And on the specific route once the broad location is decided. There will also be more detailed assessments of the social, economic and environmental impacts of a new crossing.
But in the meantime, government would like to hear from you. This is a significant development on our road network and it is important that all views are taken into account. So please let us know what you think by responding to the consultation.
More details are set out in the Lower Thames crossing consultation document.
And if you would like to respond you can use the online response form.
Or you can email your response to email@example.com
We need to hear from you by 16 July 2013.
If you prefer, you can get in contact with us via this address:
Lower Thames consultation
Department for Transport
Zone 3/29, Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
London, SW1P 4DR
And once the consultation has closed, we’ll analyse your responses and report on the next steps.
- Consultation on options for a new Lower Thames Crossing, written ministerial statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport
- Consultation on location of new Thames crossing, press notice, 21 May 2013
- Options for a new Lower Thames Crossing
- Lower Thames Crossing model capability report
- Lower Thames Crossing design and costing report
- Lower Thames Crossing operating costs, maintenance costs and revenues report
- Central forecasts and sensitivity tests report
- Review of Lower Thames Crossing options: final review report