Lower Thames Crossing
|Proposer||Department for Transport|
In January 2009 the Department for Transport proposed three major options to increase capacity east of London over the Thames, to be built downstream of the existing Dartford Crossing and an additional proposal to increase capacity at the Dartford Crossing.
- Option A: Building an additional road crossing at the current Dartford Crossing and removing the old Dartford crossing tunnels from the strategic road network.
- Later government publications state that the old tunnels will remain in use.
- Option B: A new road crossing in the Swanscombe Peninsula area, connecting the A2 near Dartford (south) to the A1089 road, north of Tilbury Docks.
- Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced in December 2013 that the Government had dropped this option partly due to its potential disruption to a proposed large scale new theme park and associated development on the Swanscombe peninsula.
- Option C: A new road crossing connecting the M2 motorway and M20 motorways in the south with the M25. This might be linked via a proposed new Thames flood barrier. The route from the north would pass close to South Ockendon, Orsett, Chadwell St Mary, West Tilbury, East Tilbury, across West Tilbury Marshes before crossing the Thames just to the east of Gravesend and Thurrock. It would join the M2 in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and in the Special Landscape Area. This proposed link is also within the Kent Downs AONB and special landscape area. According to the DfT this long route would have "considerable environmental impacts".
- Also: Increased capacity on the current Dartford Crossing at a lower cost. This option did not accommodate the predicted traffic growth in the longer term.
Advocates of the proposal argue that a new crossing is needed to alleviate congestion at the Dartford Crossing.
Currently, there is a ferry service operating between Gravesend and Tilbury, that predominantly carries foot passengers and the occasional light motorcycle, subject to space limitations. It only runs Monday to Friday as well.
The routes can be viewed on this Google Maps overlay
In 2008 Metrotidal Ltd proposed the 'Medway-Canvey Island crossing', a £2bn to £4bn combined road and rail tunnel between Medway and Canvey Island which would include a surge-tide barrier and a tidal power plant which was supported by Kent County Council, Essex County Council, the Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership and the Department for Transport.
Following delays in any proposal being put forward by central government, Essex and Kent County Councils intend to create a joint proposal for the construction of a crossing.
In January 2009 the Department for Transport published its own proposals.
In October 2010 a study commissioned by Kent County Council proposed that the northern end of the crossing should bypass the M25 and continue on to connect to the M11 (and Stansted Airport) directly. This would presumably be an adaptation of Option C.
In October 2012 plans were announced for a major theme park to be built near Swanscombe. Commenting on road and motorway access to the park, Kent County Council highways chief Councillor Brian Sweetland said he was looking at a significant variation to Option B, saying "The possibility of a new Thames Crossing at the Swanscombe peninsula must now be taken very seriously".
- Crossings of the River Thames
- Dartford Crossing
- M25 motorway
- Thames Gateway
- Thames Gateway Bridge
- Thames estuary
- Paramount Kent
- "Dartford River Crossing Study into Capacity Requirement". Department for Transport. 20 April 2009. Archived from the original on 13 May 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- Review of Lower Thames Crossing: final review report, Department for Transport, 21 May 2013, accessed 2014-10-29
- "Lower Thames Crossing". Gov.uk (written statement to Parliament). Department for Transport, Government of the United Kingdom. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- "Transport – Ferry Services". Thurrock Council. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
- "Gravesend to Tilbury Passenger Ferry". Retrieved 25 May 2011.
- Roads for Prosperity. The Department of Transport. p. Table 2.
- "The Orbit Multi-Modal Study:Developing a long-term sustainable management strategy for the M25" (PDF). Association for European Transport. 2003. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
- "M25 LONDON ORBITAL TRANSPORT STUDY REPORTS". www.gov-news.org. 22 November 2002. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
- "Medway-Canvey Island Thames Crossing, United Kingdom". Road Traffic Technology. Retrieved 1 October 2009.
- "Time for Action on Lower Thames Crossing". Essex County Council. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
- "New bridge over Thames 'should link with M11' in Essex". BBC. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
- Webb, Sam (8 October 2012). "Hollywood comes to Kent: Developers unveil plans for £2bn Paramount theme park to rival Disneyland Paris that will create 27,000 jobs". Daily Mail.
- Brian, Sweetland (8 October 2012). "Reaction to £2bn Paramount theme park for Kent". Kent Messenger.
- Dartford River Crossing debate House of Commons Hansard (7 November 2006)
- Kent and Essex tackle traffic together Kent County Council (26 October 2006)
- Ministerial statement House of Commons Hansard (19 October 2006)
- Lower Thames Crossing Gov.uk (11 June 2013)
- Multi-billion pound tunnel plan BBC News (12 February 2008)
- Third Thames crossing 'overdue' BBC News (26 October 2006)
- 'Gridlock ahead' without crossing BBC News (9 October 2006)
- Lower Thames Crossing information at alwaystouchout.com