Published: 12:50, 14 February 2016
Hundreds of villagers turned out in Higham, yesterday, to protest against Highways England’s proposal to build the Lower Thames Crossing west of their village.
Higham Parish Council held their own meeting for parishioners to view the plans for Option C, on Friday night, as Highways England had not organised an official meeting for them.
The proposed crossing will start from junction 1 of the M2 and go north west around Shorne, and meet up on the A226, before a single road takes the traffic north, over Lower Higham Road, and under the river.
More than 350 villagers attended the meeting and Higham Parish councillor Sue Sparks said they were all against the proposal.
Cllr Sparks, said: “The parishioners were all 100% behind opposing Option C. They’re very concerned about the impact on the village, surrounding villages and on the people who are living in houses who are blighted by this new road and tunnel.
“But they are also concerned about the massive environmental impact in terms of pollution and the huge amounts of traffic coming through the village which will increase massively, if this goes ahead.
“We are very keen for everyone in Higham, and everyone right across Kent, understands what is going on and has a chance to say what they think.
“We’ve been asking people to talk to their neighbours, to make sure everyone knows about it.”
Gravesham councillor, Harold Craske, who represents Higham ward, said: “Highways England is trying to split the village, making them choose either one route or the another and we’re not going to fall for that at all.
“The road cuts right through the middle of the village everything that wants to go to the Wainscott bypass will have to come through here resulting in an extra 8,500 vehicle movements a day, that’s KCC’s own figures, but other figures say 11,000."
Higham Primary School Pupil, Thomas Roper, was at the protest with his parents Jenny and Tony.
The 10-year-old said: “I am completely against the plan the big lorries are already coming through here and we have a lot of countryside and Option C will take it all away.”
Angry resident Sean O’Riordan said all of the villages affected by the proposals should come together and protest against Option C.
“It’s a Kent issue, we all need to rise up against it as its going to create one big concrete jungle from Dartford all the way to Rochester.
“This is a North Kent issue, not just the villages, otherwise what are we going to say to our children? We had woodlands to play in and fields to run across, but they will just have concrete.”