'Crucial' consultation begins on proposed changes to Lower Thames Crossing project 

The consultation is due to proposed changes including a new bridge over the A127, and amends to a public park in Thurrock

Potential changes to the Lower Thames Crossing plans include the construction of a new bridge over the A127 in Havering - Credit: Highways England

A public consultation on proposed changes to the multi-billion-pound Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) project has begun, including a drop-in session in Hornchurch.

The LTC is an initiative designed to ease traffic around the M25 and Dartford by building a passage which will run under the River Thames. 

It is expected to affect the Upminster area, and has been subject to opposition from the Thames Crossing Action Group (TCAG). 

Earlier this year, TCAG wrote to transport minister Grant Shapps arguing the project should be halted as part of the government’s pause on “smart motorways”. 

The Department for Transport, however, refuted claims the LTC should be considered within this context, saying it is instead being designed as a trunk road.  

Matt Palmer, executive director for the LTC, said: "There is a pressing need to tackle congestion at the Dartford Crossing which causes delays and unreliable journeys for tens of thousands of people every day.  

“The Lower Thames Crossing will be a vital piece of the UK’s transport infrastructure, not only by providing a reliable alternative to Dartford, but by driving the economy by bringing people closer to jobs and businesses closer to their customers.”

Among the changes now being proposed are a new footbridge over the A127 in Havering, amends to the design of a new public park in Thurrock to make space for the planned Thames Freeport, and replacing a slip road with a new link from the Orsett Cock roundabout to the A1089. 

One of the changes proposed is a new bridge over the A127, to the west of J29

One of the changes proposed is a new bridge over the A127, to the west of J29 - Credit: Highways England

National Highways said following the consultation, which ends on June 20, it intends on submitting an application for a Development Consent Order later this year. 

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Mr Palmer said: “These consultations are crucial in helping us get the design right; to reduce the impact on local communities and environment, but also give the most benefit to local communities.  

“I’d like to thank you for your patience, and for taking the time to look at our plans and give us your feedback.” 

An event providing further information will be held in North Street Hall, Hornchurch, from 2pm to 8pm on May 27. 

Two information points are also available in Havering at Harold Hill Library and Upminster Library. 

To view the proposals in full and have a say, visit the consultation page at https://ltcconsultation2022.nationalhighways.co.uk/