'Not fit for purpose’: Opposition group slams proposed changes to Lower Thames Crossing 

The proposed view around the A13

The new landscaping around the A13 which would be completed as part of the proposed Lower Thames Crossing - Credit: National Highways

A group campaigning against the Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) project says it is "very concerned” about proposed changes to the plans.  

The LTC is a multi-billion-pound initiative designed to ease traffic around the M25 and Dartford by building a tunnel under the River Thames. 

Matt Palmer, executive director at LTC, said there has "never been a more urgent need" to tackle traffic jams at Dartford.

The Thames Crossing Action Group (TCAG) has consistently opposed the LTC on grounds including its impact on the climate, the cost, and claims the Dartford Crossing would remain overcapacity even after completion. 

This final point has been refuted by National Highways, which says on an average day, the LTC would reduce traffic on the Dartford Crossing. 

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

The LTC involves the construction of a tunnel under the River Thames - Credit: Highways England

On the new proposed changes, on which there is currently a public consultation, TCAG chair Laura Blake said the group is “very concerned” that they do not include details such as updated air and noise pollution information.

She alleged the plans contain a "considerable amount of contradictory, confusing, misleading information”. 

She added: “As we review the new information that has been released, we are still strongly opposed to the £8.2bn proposed LTC, which would be hugely destructive and harmful, and is simply not fit for purpose. 

“At a time of climate change and so many people struggling financially, there is no way the government should still be considering spending £8.2bn plus on a project like this which is simply not fit for purpose." 

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Mr Palmer said: “[The Dartford Crossing] is one of the UK’s most vital roads – connecting key ports, distribution hubs and manufacturing centres – but also one of the most unreliable roads, as the huge volumes of traffic frequently lead to long delays and frustration.  

“The LTC will not only ease congestion at Dartford, the reliable new connection will improve journeys across the whole region as well as create jobs and apprenticeships.  

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

Mr Palmer added the project has consistently received positive public feedback on its materials and information provided, but if anyone has any questions, they can either attend one of the consultation events or through the telephone call-back service. 

An event is to be held in Hornchurch, in North Street Hall, from 2pm to 8pm on May 27. 

To view the proposals and leave a comment, visit the consultation page at https://ltcconsultation2022.nationalhighways.co.uk/