Calls for Havering to benefit from discounted Lower Thames Crossing tolls
- Credit: Archant
Havering Council’s leader has called for the borough’s residents to benefit from discounted journeys through the proposed Lower Thames Crossing - warning the council may withdraw its support for the project if not.
Cllr Damian White has hit out at Highways England’s decision to only reduce the toll charge for Thurrock and Gravesham residents, despite original proposals indicating those living in Havering would also benefit.
In an open letter to the secretary of state for transport, Grant Shapps, Cllr White said: “In our view, there is no difference between the other councils and Havering as each of them will host the crossing and be affected by it in similar ways.
“It will result in noise and disturbance, make our roads even busier and undermine our efforts to improve air quality in the borough.
“Ensuring that our residents can enjoy discounted toll charges won’t offset this but it will go some way to showing the impact on Havering’s residents and businesses have been considered, that we are being treated fairly alongside other local authorities, and that the wellbeing of our local communities has been, and will be, considered.”
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The council has also launched a petition, set to run until the end of August, in its bid to secure a toll discount for Havering residents. If approved, the Lower Thames Crossing would see a three-lane dual carriageway constructed to connect the M25 near North Ockendon to the M2 near Rochester. This would include a 2.4 mile tunnel between Gravesend and Tilbury.
A spokesperson for Highways England said that the charging powers for the scheme rests with the Department for Transport, adding: “We remain keen to work closely with Havering Council on any areas of concern. Our proposal is that the level of the charge and the charging regime would replicate the approach taken on the Dartford Crossing.
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“Our design refinement consultation remains open until August 12 and we would encourage people to send us their feedback so their views can be fully considered before any final decisions are made.”
To sign the Havering Council petition, visit consultation.havering.gov.uk/communications/lowerthamescrossing