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New consultation to begin on revised Lower Thames Crossing plans

Revised plans for the multi-billion pound Lower Thames Crossing have been unveiled.

An online exhibition with interactive maps and videos will be part of the new consultation into refinements for plans for a tunnel between Kent and Essex, highways bosses have announced today.

The southern entrance to the Lower Thames Crossing in Kent
The southern entrance to the Lower Thames Crossing in Kent

About 29,000 people responded to consultation in 2018, which has been dubbed Britain’s most ambitious roads project in a generation.

Another eight-week consultation ran from January 29 to March 25 this year.

This further one will give people the opportunity to view and comment on refinements based on feedback from earlier consultations, discussions, design updates, and emerging technical information.

The proposed amendments include:

  • minor changes to elements of the highways design
  • new and updated paths for walkers, cyclists and horse riders
  • proposals for redirecting and upgrading utilities
  • more detailed landscaping proposals
  • further developed ecological mitigation measures

The proposed 14.3-mile, 70mph road would pass through what would be the longest road tunnel in the UK beneath the country’s second longest river and join up with A2 in Kent, east of Gravesend.

The planned route of the Lower Thames Crossing
The planned route of the Lower Thames Crossing

It is intended to almost double road capacity across the Thames east of London, alleviating pressure on the Dartford Crossing, reducing delays and providing more reliable journeys.

Highways England chief executive officer Jim O’Sullivan said: "The Lower Thames Crossing is part of the biggest investment in our road network for a generation and a crucial part of our future infrastructure.

"It will play a vital role in boosting local and national economic growth, providing reliable journeys, connecting communities and businesses."

The consultation will feature an online exhibition which will enable visitors to look at digital exhibition boards, similar to physical ones at events.

It will also feature videos, an interactive map of the entire route and documents providing details of the design changes.

An artist's impression of what the Lower Thames Crossing will look like
An artist's impression of what the Lower Thames Crossing will look like

As part of the consultation, the project team will also host webinars to explain key changes, also giving participants an opportunity to ask questions to the presenters.

The feedback will help Highways England complete its application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) later this year, asking the government for planning permission to build the new crossing.

The four-week consultation will be open between July 14 and August 12.

For more information on how to submit your feedback, visit here.

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