The first step in deciding on the location of a new lower Thames road crossing is the consultation period. The Government has decided that there will be three possible options that may be considered in order to tackle the current congestion and under capacity problems that are without any argument plaguing motorists in the area and only getting worse.
The three possible options are:
Option A: at the site of the existing A282 Dartford-Thurrock crossing;
Option B: connecting the A2 Swanscombe Peninsula with the A1089; and
Option C: connecting the M2 with the A13 and the M25 between junctions 29 and 30. The variant to Option C would additionally widen the A229 between the M2 and M20.
Roads Minister Stephen Hammond said:
“With traffic levels expected to increase by a fifth over the next 30 years, it is vital we take action now on the future of a new Lower Thames crossing to make sure that our road network is able to meet the future economic needs of the country.
“There are some tough decisions to be made, but this is the first step in making sure that the residents, businesses and motorists who rely on the crossing receive the service they expect and deserve in the years to come.
“I encourage anyone who uses the existing crossing or has an interest in the location of the new crossing to let us have their views on these proposals. This will enable us to make the right decision on the location of the new crossing.”
There are several ways to find out more information, either through the Department’s website or by attending one of the public information events being held next month in the Lower Thames area. They are:
– Thursday 13 June, Dartford Library, Central Park, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1EU from 2-8pm;
– Saturday 15 June, Grays Library, Orsett Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 5DX from 10am-5pm;
– Monday 17 June, Chadwell Information Centre, Brentwood Road, Chadwell St Mary, Grays, Essex, RM16 4JP from 2-7pm;
– Thursday 20 June, Bluewater (Thames Walk at the entrance to the plaza), Greenhithe, Kent, DA9 9ST from 10am-9pm;
– Friday 21 June, Lakeside (level two near the customer service desk), West Thurrock Way, Grays, Essex, RM20 2ZP from 10am-10pm; and
– Saturday 22 June, Gravesend library, Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 1BE from 9am-5pm.
The events are a chance for all those who are interested in the proposals to speak directly to member of the consultation team. For those who can not make it along to an event, the relevant information will also be available to view and download from the Department’s website.
Anybody interested in commenting on the proposed location options can have their say by completing the online response form on the Department’s website or by submitting the response form by email or post. All responses need to be submitted by the Tuesday 16 July 2013, when the consultation will close. Decisions following this consultation will be announced in the autumn 2013.