More than 47,000 people took part in a consultation for a new Thames Crossing, Highways England revealed yesterday (May 24).
The consultation invited views on proposed routes for a new road crossing below the Thames. In total, a record, 47,034 responses were received. The responses are now all being analysed before a final decision on a preferred route is made by the government, expected later this year.
Highways England consultation manager, Martin Potts, said: “This is a fantastic level of engagement, and I am grateful to everyone who took the time to take part in the consultation.
“The route for a new Lower Thames Crossing is a massive decision and it is vital that we get it right. I am very encouraged at the significant number of responses that we have received, as they will really help us to make the best possible recommendation to government about the route that this vital new road link should take.”
The new road could be open in 2025 and would relieve congestion at the existing Dartford Crossing and improve the resilience of the road network by providing a new alternative link across the Thames.
In 2014, following a public consultation led by Department for Transport, two locations were shortlisted for a new bridge or tunnel across the river: one near the existing Dartford Crossing and the other linking the M2 with the M25 via the A13, with a possible further link to the M20.
Since then, Highways England has carried out detailed work with a wide range of stakeholders to assess the shortlisted options and develop possible routes at each location. Following that evaluation, a new road crossing through a bored tunnel was proposed at location C.
The route proposed at consultation would run from the end of the M2, crossing under the river just east of Gravesend and Tilbury and joining the M25 between junctions 29 and 30.