Respond to the consultation to reject the Lower Thames Crossing

December 10, 2018

The Lower Thames Crossing is a flawed scheme that will wreak considerable environmental damage, do little or nothing to ease traffic and air pollution at the Dartford Crossing, and ignores the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions to fight the climate crisis.

“Dinosaur thinking” were the words used by our Kent County Council member, Martin Whybrow, after he’d had to sit through marketing spin from Highways England at KCC’s recent Environment & Transport Cabinet Committee. As he pointed out, if you lay more tarmac, more traffic will follow – as so many cities and countries around the world have now concluded.

Over the timescales and with the vast sums of money involved in the project (£6 billion), so much more could be achieved by tackling spiralling traffic volumes at source. Better rail infrastructure, improved and cheaper public transport, a rapid move to electric vehicles and the infrastructure to support these, car share schemes and other measures could all be done at pace and in a much shorter space of time.

As CPRE has said: “The new crossing will increase traffic congestion on both sides of the river and on all north-south routes through Kent, resulting in many more deaths through increased air pollution.”

We are asking everyone with a view on the crossing to respond to the public consultation, which closes at midnight on 20th December. The link is here:

At the KCC committee meeting, Martin particularly took Highways England’s project director, Tim Jones, to task when he said “yes” or “no” responses to the consultation could be discarded. Clearly, a “no” response is perfectly valid, with no relevance to then comment on the various aspects of the scheme.

Martin also criticised the taxpayer-funded video, a “voxpop” of supportive businesses that Highways England has produced. The much more relevant video would have been of local communities on both sides of the Thames who, for all the “green-wash” such as planting trees, will be blighted by the development.