Lower Thames Crossing: what might be the final consultation begins tomorrow

Lower Thames Crossing… it’s time for another consultation

Lower Thames Crossing. Consultations. We’ve been here before, right?
Well, yes, the build-up to the potential building of the new road does seem to have been around a long time, but the next consultation is, we suspect, likely to be the last before National Highways resubmits its plans.

The Local Refinement Consultation begins tomorrow (Thursday, May 12) and ends on Monday, June 20.

If this is indeed to be the final consultation, we would urge all interested to make their views known.

NH says the consultation gives “giving local communities the chance to have their say on some refinements to the project”.

It adds: “The Local Refinement Consultation is taking place to share a number of updates made to the project based on feedback from a consultation in 2021, ongoing stakeholder engagement and technical surveys.

“Following feedback from Thurrock Council the project has also amended its plans for Tilbury Fields, a new public park on the north bank of the Thames, to make space for the planned Thames Freeport.”

Proposed refinements include:

  • More public open space to the east of the tunnel entrance in Kent, connected to Chalk Park – the proposed new public park overlooking the Thames
  • Additional environmental compensation and mitigation, with potential woodland and public access
  • Replace a slip road on the A13 junction with a new link from the Orsett Cock roundabout to the A1089 to reduce traffic impacts on local roads
  • Modifying the access to the northern tunnel portal, providing safer operation of the tunnel facilities and better access for emergency services
  • A new footbridge over the A127 and further improvements for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders, including improved bridleways
  • Further refinement of utility works to enable the project to be built

NH is holding a series of public information events:

Kent

Friday, May 20 (2pm-8pm): Cascades Leisure Centre, Thong Lane, Gravesend DA12 4LG

Monday, May 23 (2pm-8pm): Village Hotel, Castle View, Forstal Road, Maidstone ME14 3AQ

Thursday, June 9 (2pm-8pm): Bridgewood Manor Hotel, near Bluebell Hill, Walderslade Woods, Chatham ME5 9AX

Friday, 10 June (2pm-8pm): Shorne Village Hall, 16 The Street, Shorne DA12 3EA

Essex

Thursday, May 19 (2pm-8pm): The Civic Hall, Blackshots Lane, Grays RM16 2JU

Friday, May 27 (2pm-8pm): North Street Hall, 24 North Street, Hornchurch RM11 1QX

Monday, June 9 (2pm-8pm): East Thurrock Community Association, 77 Corringham Road, Stanford-le-Hope SS17 0NU

Tuesday, June 7 (2pm-8pm): Tilbury Community Association, Civic Square, Tilbury RM18 8AA

Monday, June 13 (2pm-8pm): Orsett Hall Hotel, Prince Charles Avenue, Orsett RM16 3HS

  • You can order a consultation pack here (alternatively phone 0300 123 5000 or email info@lowerthamescrossing.co.uk)
  • The National Highways dedicated LTC web page is here
  • For more on the LTC, see here
  • To read CPRE Kent’s response to the spring 2020 LTC consultation, click here

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Lower Thames Crossing: Highways England submits application for Development Consent Order

An impression of what could be coming our way

Highways England has submitted its application for a Development Consent Order for the Lower Thames Crossing.
The submission was made on Friday, October 23, to the Planning Inspectorate, which will decide, within 28 days, if it is accepted for examination.
HE expects the Planning Inspectorate to make its decision on acceptance by Friday, November 20. If the application is accepted for examination, the following process will unfold:
Pre-examination period: probably between late November and March 2021
Examination: anticipated from March to September 2021
Recommendation period: anticipated autumn 2021 to spring 2022
HE says: “Only after the recommendation period in 2022 would the application be formally presented to the Secretary of State for Transport for them to decide if the application is approved or not – and only if it is approved, could we start building the Lower Thames Crossing.”
Learn more about the application process, including how and at what stage you can get involved, here

  • For more on the Lower Thames Crossing, see here, here and here

Monday, October 26, 2020

Lower Thames Crossing: consultation opens

Infographic from Highways England consultation

In the week that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report telling us we need to take immediate action to curb catastrophic climate change, we learn of the opening of the next stage of consultation on plans for the new Lower Thames Crossing (LTC).
The consultation website bills it as the solution to “unlocking opportunities and economic growth for the region and the country… offering new connections and better journeys”.
Earlier stages of consultation promised that the new LTC was essential to solve congestion and air pollution at the existing, undoubtedly over-stretched, Dartford crossings.
Even so, scrutiny of those documents showed that, on opening, a new crossing would reduce traffic flows at Dartford by a pitifully low 14 per cent.
This is a tiny benefit compared with the environmental and community harm that would be caused by the biggest UK road project since construction of the M25.
It is now clear that a new crossing will not be about achieving environmental and public benefits. Rather, it is about creating more vehicle journeys, about intensifying the housing crisis in the South East and about opening up ever more green spaces for development.
Last year, colleagues in CPRE’s national team published research showing unequivocally that increasing road capacity simply resulted in more vehicle journeys: we can’t build our way out of congestion. There’s a good little video summarising the report here.
At a time when we need to radically rethink how we use energy to move ourselves and our stuff around, the government’s focus on new road capacity is out of date.
Instead of investing solely in new roads, we want government to focus on better public transport links, to rationalise the over-reliance on road-based freight movement and to support planning policies that reduce the need to travel by car and support walking and cycling.
Don’t miss your chance to have your say on the proposals: the consultation closes on Thursday, December 20, and the documents can be found here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018