Thames crossing

Lower Thames Crossing proposals

On 12 April 2017, the government announced its preferred route for a new Lower Thames Crossing between Thurrock and Kent.

With reference to the first map below, its preferred route was:

  • a bored tunnel crossing under the River Thames east of Gravesend and Tilbury – Location C
  • a new road north of the river which will join the M25 between junctions 29 and 30 – Route 3
  • a new road south of the river which will join the A2 east of Gravesend – Western Southern Link

Since then, on 17 November 2017, Highways English published a second map showing its 'current thinking' – go to Highways England: November project update.

Highways England preferred route Highways England 'current thinking'

View full preferred route map

View full 'current thinking' map

Development land

In July 2018, Highways England updated their proposed development boundary for the Lower Thames Crossing. The development boundary is marked on their plans, below, by a red line. It shows the land on which Highways England would like prevent further development taking place in case they need it for building or operating the Lower Thames Crossing.

Find out more about these proposals at Highways England: Lower Thames Crossing areas affected.

For full details of the project, go to Highways England: Lower Thames Crossing.

Lower Thames Crossing task force

We have set-up a Lower Thames Crossing task force to make recommendations on economic, environmental and social aspects of the Lower Thames Crossing. The task force is made up of 9 councillors from Thurrock's 3 main political parties, with 3 co-opted members from outside the council. Its first meeting was held on 25 September 2017.

Lower Thames Crossing task force priorities were presented on 22 January 2018.

All political parties within Thurrock Council remain firmly opposed to proposals for a Lower Thames Crossing in Thurrock.

National planning process

Proposals for the Lower Thames Crossing will be considered by the Planning Inspectorate – a government agency that deals with national infrastructure planning applications.

The Planning Inspectorate expects that a formal application for the crossing will be made between October and December 2019 – go to National Infrastructure Planning: Lower Thames Crossing.

Highways England submitted their first 'Environmental Impact Assessment – Scoping Report' to the Planning Inspectorate on 2 November 2017. You can download submitted documents from the Planning Inspectorate: Lower Thames Crossing documents page.

Thurrock Council has sent a letter in response, demanding that the scope of the report be widened. Whilst the report covers areas such as air quality, noise, vibration, landscape, cultural heritage, people and communities, it does not cover other important matters such as:

  • measurement of some particles in the air that can affect health
  • health and socio-economic impacts
  • how improvements to trains, buses and cycling might create a more integrated approach to transport

You can read the full letter below: