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Home   Gravesend   News   Article

The leader of Kent County Council has said that the authority will be opting for option C – a new Thames crossing cutting through Gravesham.

09 July 2013
by Thom Morris

The panel at last night's meeting

The panel at last night's meeting

The leader of Kent County Council has said that the authority will be opting for option C – a new Thames crossing cutting through Gravesham.

Appearing at a meeting last night, Paul Carter said he had substantial modifications to the plans put forward by the government, but would not reveal them until later this week.

He said: “Yes I do believe we need a new crossing. We’ve been doing quite a lot of work on our own feasibility studies and the work we did suggested it should be east of Gravesend.

“We’ve had some reservations from members of my group and the Gravesham area but we do believe it should be a tunnel, not a bridge.

“We would object to the link road going through Shorne and we will put that in our response.”

KCC will no sign off its formal response to the consultation until a meeting of the cabinet on July 15 – a day before the consultation closes.

The meeting, held at Hilton Dartford Bridge Hotel on Crossways Business Park, was organised by BBC Radio Kent and BBC Essex.

During the meeting, the Dartford crossing was closed after an accident.

The panel consisted of David Burch from the Essex Chambers of Commerce; Natalie Chapman from the Freight Transport Association; John Kent, Labour leader of Thurrock Borough Council; Richard Knox-Johnston from CPRE Protect Kent; and Mike Stephens from the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Present in the audience of about 150 people was Gravesham council leader John Burden, Dartford council leader Jeremy Kite, and people from Essex and Kent.

Cllr Kent stuck to the same line that Gravesham council is supporting, that of “none of the above”.

He said: “I don’t think the case has been proven – if you remove the tolls I believe you will free up capacity.

“We don’t need a new crossing and removing the tolls is a lot cheaper than building a new bridge and will give some respite from the congestion we get, day in and day out.

“We need to wait and see what the impact is from free tolling.”

But Jeremy Kite, whilst agreeing that waiting to see what the free flowing tolls will bring, said option C was the best of the three.

He said: “I do think we need a new crossing and while I do think we should see what happens with the free flow technology, we’re being asked to pick one of those and we think it should be C.”

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