Outrage At Design Change To Lower Thames Crossing
3 November 2017, 06:24 | Updated: 3 November 2017, 07:17
More people are going to be affected by the new Lower Thames Crossing - now the design has changed.
An extra 21 homes have been told they will be bulldozed to make way for it, taking the total to 250 properties.
The Lower Thames Crossing Action Group has told Heart it's just not acceptable when there are other options available.
The key changes announced include:
" A new junction design at the junction of the Lower Thames Crossing and M25
" A new route and design to avoid Ockendon landfill
" Redesign of A13 junction and the removal of the A128 junction (which is enabled by the A13 junction redesign)
" A new junction and link road at Tilbury.
" Keeping options open to extend the length of the tunnel, as has been requested by stakeholders and the community. Assessment is ongoing.
" Removing the proposed A226 junction.
" A new design for the junction with the A2
" The route will now be 3 lanes in each direction between the A2 and A13, which will involve widening the A2 to M2, junction 1 to improve traffic flow.
" 241 individual property owners are now within the development boundary and their properties may be required to enable the Lower Thames Crossing to be built. The design changes has increase the number of property owners affected by 21, with 13 property owners removed from the development boundary and 34 now included.
The changes have been welcomed as 'an end to costly rush-hour congestion at the Dartford Crossing' by the Deputy Leader of Essex County Council.
Cllr Kevin Bentley praised the new plans which could potentially create more than 6,000 jobs and boost the UK economy by more than £8 billion.
Today he said: "It is great to see plans for the Lower Thames Crossing developing as it is a vital link to help continue to promote economic growth within Essex and keep our county moving. Commuters and business will no doubt be delighted to see an end in sight to costly rush-hour congestion at the Dartford Crossing. The safety improvements to junctions in these latest plans will also be welcomed by drivers as queueing traffic is often triggered by collisions on key junctions."
He continued: "Modern transport infrastructure is a key driver for growing our businesses as congestion costs this county millions of pounds every year. That is why we are backing these plans for a new Lower Thames Crossing as well as investment to improve other key routes including M11, M25, A120, A13 and A12."
Highways England project director for the Lower Thames Crossing, Tim Jones, said: "The Lower Thames Crossing offers a once in a generation opportunity to significantly improve connections between Essex and Kent. This new crossing will create an £8 billion stimulus to the UK economy, by increasing capacity to cross the Thames between Essex and Kent by 70 per cent when it opens by 2027, providing some much needed relief for the Dartford Crossing.
"We are working closely with communities and local authorities to ensure we make the most of the potential to unlock economic growth, provide more jobs and homes while providing improved access to leisure and retail opportunities. The design changes we are proposing have been shaped by the feedback we received from our consultation and there will a further opportunity for people to comment in a public consultation next year."