Mixed reaction from borough at Lower Thames Crossing announcement

South portal Lower Thames Crossing

South portal Lower Thames Crossing - Credit: Archant

The announcement of the new multi-billion pound Lower Thames Crossing which will link the borough with Kent, has received a mixed response.

The preferred route for a crossing, which could create 6,000 jobs and boost the economy by more than £8billion, was revealed by the transport secretary on Wednesday.

The planned route will run from the M25 near Ockendon Road, North Ockendon, cross the A13 at Orsett before crossing under the Thames east of Tilbury and Gravesend.

London Assembly member for Havering and Redbridge Keith Prince said: “This is welcomed news. The log jam on the M25 around the Dartford Crossing piles misery on commuters on a daily basis.

“A solution is needed and, whilst the details of this need further scrutiny, I’m pleased to see something is being done.

“I’m hopeful too that this will kickstart other badly-needed Thames river crossings. We desperately need more transport crossings in the east between QEII bridge and Blackwall Tunnel.

“East London has long been the city’s forgotten region in terms of transport infrastructure and that needs addressing.”

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The purpose of the new route is to ease the burden of the busy Dartford Crossing but Cllr Ron Ower is wary: “I am very concerned what this is going to mean for residents in North Ockendon, especially those who live close by this route.

“We were hoping that it would avoid Havering altogether but this is going to have to go to consultation where residents will have their say.

“The proposed junction is also by the North Ockendon and Cranham Conservation areas so could disturb the wildlife there as well.”

The two-mile tunnel and route has been estimated to cost between £4.3billion and £5.9billion.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling says the scheme shows that the government is trying to make “the lives of millions of motorists better”.