Consultation starts on multi-billion pound Thames tunnel
Posted on: 29/01/2016

Proposals for a new multi-billion pound Thames tunnel between Essex and Kent have been announced today. Highways England have started an 8 week consultation for a Lower Thames Crossing road link, with aims to relieve congestion at the Dartford Crossing and provide a new link across the River Thames.

In 2013 two locations were shortlisted for a new bridge or tunnel across the river: one near the Dartford Crossing, and the other linking the M2 with the M25 via the A13, with a possible further link to the M20. Highways England carried out an evaluation involving detailed work with a wide range of stakeholders to assess the shortlisted options and develop possible routes at each location. Now they have recommended linking the M2 with the M25 via the A13 through a bored tunnel.

The proposed scheme would run from the end of the M2, crossing the river just east of Gravesend and Tilbury, and joining the M25 between junctions 29 and 30.

Roads Minister Andrew Jones said:

“Roads are key to ensuring the nation’s prosperity. As part of our long-term economic plan, we are making the biggest investment in roads in a generation.

“The government is committed to delivering a Lower Thames Crossing which will increase capacity and provide better, faster journeys across the Thames.

“Once complete it could add over £7bn to the economy by increasing investment and business opportunities, and create over 5,000 new jobs nationally.”

Highways England senior project manager Martin Potts explained how the proposed location would provide larger economic benefits and reduce congestion, as well as minimising the effects of the new road on the environment by selecting a tunnel. He added:

“There are important choices to be made. As well as inviting comments from the public about our recommendations, we have identified three routes for the new road to the north of the river and two routes south of the river. We welcome views on them all.

“This consultation is your chance to have your say on a once-in-a-generation, multi-billion pound investment that will have wide ranging effects for decades. I encourage anyone who would like to find out more to check out the consultation materials or come and see us at one of the public exhibitions we’ll be hosting.”

The consultation will run until Thursday 24th March, and includes 24 public exhibitions, held at venues across Kent and Essex. A final decision will be made by the Government later this year.

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