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Lower Thames Crossing: Highways England announces new public consultation with revised plans ahead of application to Planning Inspectorate


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Revised plans for the Lower Thames Crossing are set to be published next month – eight months after bosses pulled the original planning application.

A new round of public consultation will take place from July 14 on the new 14-mile route between Kent and Essex.

Latest photographs released by Highways England of the proposed Lower Thames Crossing. Picture: Highways England (45208400)
Latest photographs released by Highways England of the proposed Lower Thames Crossing. Picture: Highways England (45208400)

Topics will focus on how crossing bosses intend to reduce the impact of the crossing on the community and environment including changes to traffic, air quality, noise and vibration.

There will also be the chance to review and comment on the project's impact on the environment and landscape for the tunnels between Gravesend and Medway.

Highways England, which is managing the £8.2bn project, says changes have been send since the last consultation in 2020.

A smaller area is being proposed to build and operate the scheme as well as less impact on local properties and woodland.

The revised plans have been eight months in the making after early feedback from the Planning Inspectorate suggested it needed more work and information.

How the A2/M2 junction for the Lower Thames Crossing will look like in Kent. Picture: Highways England
How the A2/M2 junction for the Lower Thames Crossing will look like in Kent. Picture: Highways England

New public spaces on both sides of the River Thames are being proposed under the amended plans, Highways England said.

Managers say feedback provided during earlier consultations has also been developed into the project and these will be presented next month.

It is said to double road capacity between the two counties with two new dual carriageway tunnels being dug out and diverting 13 million vehicles away from the Dartford Crossing every year.

HE says it is also a key part of the government's building scheme to help the economy recover after the pandemic with 20,000 jobs during the construction phase.

Details of community woodland being created in partnership with Forestry England at Chalk, east of Gravesend and Tibury Fields in Thurrock.

Seven green bridges will be built in the parks with more than 46km of new or improved public footpaths.

The latest proposals for the northern entrance of the tunnel looking across the river towards Kent of the Lower Thames Crossing. Picture: Highways England/Joas Souza Photographer
The latest proposals for the northern entrance of the tunnel looking across the river towards Kent of the Lower Thames Crossing. Picture: Highways England/Joas Souza Photographer

Matt Palmer, executive director for Lower Thames Crossing, said: “The Lower Thames Crossing is the most ambitious road scheme in a generation.

"It will improve journeys, drive long term economic growth by creating new opportunities for those living, working and doing business in the region, and play a key role in our recovery from Covid by supporting 22,000 jobs during construction.

“People's feedback has been crucial in developing the project – not just to reduce the impact, but to find opportunities to enhance habitats for local wildlife, and create new public parks, woodland, and footpaths for the local community.

"The Lower Thames Crossing is the most ambitious road scheme in a generation."

"This further consultation is another opportunity for you to have your say before we submit our planning application at the end of the year. I would like to thank people in advance for once again giving us their time and feedback.”

A new planning application, which had been promised around Easter, is now expected to be submitted later this year with construction starting in 2024 if approved.

HE hopes to have the new road open between 2029 and 2030.

The consultation will close at 11.59pm on September 8.

For more information visit highwaysengland.co.uk/lowerthamescrossing

All the consultation material will be available on a dedicated consultation website from July 14 at www.highwaysengland.co.uk/ltcconsultation

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