Dartford council leader Jeremy Kite is urging all Dartford residents to respond to a government consultation on proposals to construct a new Thames crossing - and he’s asking you vote for option C, a location east of Gravesend.
Former PM Gordon Brown kicked off the current review of crossing capacity in 2009 when he declared the government would consider only three potential locations for a new Thames crossing – one at the site of the existing bridge, one at Swanscombe peninsula and a final option east of Gravesend
Dartford’s leader thinks a different solution with a link further down the Thames Estuary should have been among the options but he is urging people not to miss their chance to have a say on the three routes under review.
It can only be option C, says council leader Jeremy Kite
He said: “Personally I think we should wait to see what difference free-flow tolling makes before jumping to a conclusion about a new crossing but the government have launched this consultation and Dartford people really must express a view.
“There are lots of reasons why a new link at Dartford would be disastrous but my opposition to Option A at Dartford and Option B at Swanscombe is more than nimbyism.
"What motorists need, what the economy needs and what Britain needs is for the government to show courage and invest in the right solution, not just a convenient one.
"A huge amount of the freight traffic that passes across the current crossing is headed north and it would be good for the economy to allow it to cross the Thames as early as possible.
"That means a crossing east of Gravesend and it can only mean Option C."
Cllr Kite added: “The second issue is one of resilience. At the moment delays can be caused not just at the crossing itself but by problems on the M25 on either side.
"Putting a new crossing at the same site simply doubles the opportunities for things to go wrong and offers no resilience when things grind to a halt.
“Pretty much everyone in Dartford is affected by the river crossing. Motorists are stuck in queues, businesses are delayed, and almost everyone else is caught up in increased local traffic or has to live in the shadow of poor air quality.
"I am calling on all residents and businesses to respond to the consultation making clear that Dartford cannot accept another crossing. It has to be Option C.”
Dartford council is in the process of organising an extra public meeting to supplement the Department for Transport’s consultation.
Full information and the consultation documents are available here.