Lower Thames Crossing: Community Impacts Consultation begins this month
The next round of public consultation on the Lower Thames Crossing begins on Wednesday, July 14, and runs for eight weeks until Wednesday, September 8.
Highways England says: “This Community Impacts Consultation will give people the opportunity to review and comment on our plans to build and operate the Lower Thames Crossing, and how we propose to reduce our impact on the local community and environment.
“Topics include changes to traffic, air quality, noise and vibration, as well as the impact of the new crossing on the environment and landscape.
“The consultation will also include some changes made to the project since the previous consultation in 2020. This includes a reduction in the area needed to build and operate the scheme, a smaller impact on local properties and woodland, and new public spaces on both sides of the River Thames.
“We have also summarised how the feedback provided during earlier consultations has been used in the development of the project.”
CPRE Essex believes a new crossing is not the most desirable option, and neither do our friends at CPRE Kent.
Speaking before a previous round of consultation on the project, Alex Hills, CPRE Kent’s Gravesham district chairman, said: “Cities in this country and around the world have become aware that, due to the dreadful Covid-19 disease, more needs to be done to boost active travel (walking and cycling).
“This is partly to enable social distancing and partly to reduce air pollution. The Climate Change Committee has called for proposed spending on roads to be spent on measures that offer better value for money and at the same time reduce congestion and air pollution.
“Increasing investment in active travel, sustainable transport and broadband all offer better value for money. The KenEx tramline (see here) could take up to 10 per cent of traffic using the Dartford crossing for £600 million as opposed to a new crossing costing at least £8.2 billion and increasing congestion.”
Highways England plans to submit a new application for a Development Consent Order this year, starting an 18-month examination process. If it wins consent, HE aims to begin construction in 2024, with the new road opening in 2029 or 2030.