Highways England consulted on their proposed Lower Thames Crossing between Wednesday 10 October 2018 and Thursday 20 December 2018.
Highways England proposals
Highways England said the project's main proposals include:
- 2 new tunnels under the Thames – one southbound and one northbound
- about 12.5 miles (23km) of new road with a 70mph speed limit, connecting the A2/M2 to the M25
- improvements to the M25, A2, and A13 where the crossing connects to the road network
- new structure and changes to existing ones – including bridges, buildings, tunnel entrances, viaducts and utilities such as electricity pylons – along the length of the new road
- a free-flow charging system similar to that at the Dartford Crossing, where drivers do not need to stop but pay remotely
Details of the consultation are online at Highways England: Lower Thames Crossing statutory consultation.
Our response to the consultation
We were not given an advance copy of the consultation documents, despite many requests. An Extraordinary Council meeting on Tuesday 11 December 2018 agreed the council’s response.
The 3 main findings and recommendations in our response are:
the consultation scheme does not meet several of the national and Highways England's strategic policy tests and design objectives, particularly relating to option testing, the delivery of economic growth and achieving sustainable local growth
the consultation scheme does not make provision for the potential for housing and development aspirations for the borough and the wider south Essex area, as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and emerging Local Plan
there are specific design elements of the consultation scheme that require modification and/or further consideration by Highways England in order to meet the Lower Thames Crossing's policy and design objectives
The full report papers are available to download from the Extraordinary Council meeting agenda, 11 December, item 85. You can also watch a video recording of the council meeting.
What happens next
The consultation took place in advance of making an application to the Secretary of State for Transport for a Development Consent Order (DCO).
This is currently set to be made in autumn 2019.
For more information, go to: