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Gravesend: Lower Thames Crossing consultation to open

By Ed McConnell

Updated plans for a £6 billion tunnel linking Kent and Essex will be released to the public next week.

People will then have 10 weeks to register their views on the Lower Thames Crossing, which is set to be built to the east of Gravesend.

The huge project promises to relieve the substantial pressure on north Kent's road network and in particular the Dartford Crossing, which handles 55 million journeys a year, six million more than it was designed for.

An artist's impression of the Lower Thames Crossing
An artist's impression of the Lower Thames Crossing

The government has previously claimed it could boost the economy of the area by £8 billion and create 6,000 jobs.

When it is opened in 2027 it will run for 13 miles, with a three-lane tunnel running for two miles between Gravesham and Thurrock.

The route will link drivers to the M25, the A2 and the A13,and will cost between £4.4 to £6.2 billion project.

A video released by Highways England in March offers drivers a virtual tour of the proposed tunnel.

The consultation opens next Wednesday and will run until Thursday, December 20.

It is the third time residents have been canvassed, there was an initial process in 2013 after which two options for routes, A and C, were progressed. Following a second consultation in 2016 option C was chosen.

The route the Lower Thames Crossing will take
The route the Lower Thames Crossing will take
Current river crossing on the river and the proposed location of the Lower Thames Crossing
Current river crossing on the river and the proposed location of the Lower Thames Crossing

Project director Tim Jones said: “A new Lower Thames Crossing is a once in a generation opportunity for people in Kent, Thurrock and Essex, significantly improving journeys, connecting communities and boosting the economy.

"This consultation is an important opportunity for people to share their views on our proposals and help shape the project. I am looking forward to hearing what people think."

There will be 25 public information events across the region as well as 30 visits to local communities.

At each event, specialists will be on hand to explain the proposed route, how it will be built and operated, and how Highways England plan to minimise its impact.

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