The £6bn project is described as England’s most complex road building project for 30 years. It will create a new three-lane dual carriageway, 14.3 miles long, connecting the M2 near Rochester and the M25 in Essex between North and South Ockenden. It will include a pair of 2.4-mile long bored tunnels under the River Thames, linking Kent and Essex.
A series of design changes have been made following surveys, ground investigations and analysis of the 29,000 responses received during the last consultation held in 2018.
A new round of public consultation begins today (29th January 2019) and runs for eight weeks.
The latest design revisions include:
• Providing direct access between Gravesend and the A2/M2 eastbound, and a redesigned Gravesend East junction and link roads to reduce congestion;
• Extending the southern tunnel entrance (in Gravesend) 350 metres south to move the road away from properties in Chalk and reduce impact on protected bird habitats in the Ramsar Marshes and the Thames Estuary;
• Removing the rest and service area and maintenance depot after further investigation and consideration of the issues raised during statutory consultation, which means the junction at Tilbury is no longer required;
• Moving the alignment of the route between Tilbury and the A13 junction by approximately 60 metres (north-east) to avoid pylons and overhead cables;
• Redesigning some slip roads around the A13/A1089 junction to move roads away from properties, improve safety at the junctions, and improve visual impact, and;
• Removing one lane southbound between the M25 and A13 junction to reduce the amount of land required, while still providing sufficient capacity.
Chris Taylor, director of Highways England’s complex infrastructure programme, said: “The Lower Thames Crossing is Highways England's most ambitious project in 30 years, designed to improve journeys across the southeast and open up new connections and opportunities for people and businesses.
“Getting the views of the local community and businesses is crucial to designing a project that will offer the best value, maximise the benefits for all, while reducing the impact on local communities and the environment. This consultation is a chance for people to review and comment on a number of changes made since our last consultation in 2018, and to help shape this once-in-a-generation project.”
Further details of the project and of consultation events can be found at www.lowerthamescrossing.co.uk/consultation-2020