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Have your say on Lower Thames Crossing plans at public events in Dartford and Gravesend

PUBLISHED: 10:00 17 October 2018

How the northern portal of the Lower Thames Crossing, in Essex, will look. Photo: Highways England

How the northern portal of the Lower Thames Crossing, in Essex, will look. Photo: Highways England

Archant

People who live, work and travel across Kent, Thurrock, Essex and beyond are being invited to shape plans for Britain’s biggest road tunnel as Highways England hostrf the first of 60 public engagement events on the multi-billion pound Lower Thames Crossing project this week (Tuesday 16 October).

People attend the first of sixty public events at Orsett in Essex. Photo: Highways EnglandPeople attend the first of sixty public events at Orsett in Essex. Photo: Highways England

A consultation was launched last week into updated proposals for the project, a new 14.5 mile road linking the M2 in Kent with the M25 in Essex, including a 2.4 mile tunnel under the river.

Starting this week, the project team are taking to the road to meet local people, explain the plans and answer questions.

The first event, at Orsett in Essex is one of 25 public information events being held over the coming weeks, along with pop up stalls and visits by the team’s mobile visitor centre to various locations across Essex, Thurrock and Kent.

Businesses and organisations from across the region have welcomed the plans, which will nearly double road capacity across the Thames while halving some journey times at the existing Dartford Crossing, where traffic will be reduced by almost a quarter.

Highways England Project Director for the Lower Thames Crossing, Tim Jones, said: “The Lower Thames Crossing will be among the biggest and most complex new roads ever built in the UK, and we are providing a wide range of information about the project, its impacts and benefits.

“We want to help people understand the proposals and have their say to help shape the plans. These events are an excellent opportunity to do just that.

“People will be able to see the changes we’ve made since the preferred route was announced last year, and how we’ve responded to the feedback we’ve received.

“And of course they will be able to put questions directly to members of the project team.

“I encourage anyone with an interest to come along to one of our events to make sure their voice is heard in this once-in-a-generation opportunity for Britain’s roads.”

Councils and business and industry groups from across the region have reiterated support for the project as the consultation gets underway.

Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE, leader of the London Borough of Bexley said: “The Thames Gateway is poised to help the country and the capital prosper and grow. Transport infrastructure – including river crossings – it essential for this to happen, so I welcome this consultation and the prospect of investment in this important project.”

Christian Brodie, Chair of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), said: “This marks the important next step for this urgently needed and game changing project which will help us drive forward the economy of the South East.

“I would urge every business to back this vital investment in infrastructure and participate in the consultation.”

Jo James, Chief Executive Officer of Kent Chambers of Commerce, said: “The Lower Thames Crossing will open up new opportunities, enabling businesses across Kent and the wider South East to achieve their growth potential and will have a significant impact on our future prosperity.

“As the ten-week consultation opens, I would strongly urge businesses to put their views forward by responding to the consultation.”

Details of the nearest public exhibition events are as follows:

Bluewater Shopping Centre, Bluewater Parkway, Greenhithe, DA9 9ST, on Saturday 20 October from 9am to 9pm, and Sunday 21 October from 11am to 5pm

Chalk Parish Hall, Pirrip Close, Gravesend, DA12 2ND, on Monday 22 October from 2pm to 9pm

Mick Jagger Centre, Shepherds Lane, Dartford, DA1 2JZ, on Tuesday 23 October from 2pm to 9pm

Cascades Leisure Centre, Thong Lane, Gravesend, DA12 4LG, on Thursday 1 November, from 2pm to 9pm

Gravesham Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend, DA12 1AU, on Wednesday 21 November from 2pm to 9pm

Doubletree Dartford Bridge, Masthead Close, Crossways Business Park, Dartford, DA2 6QF, on Monday 3 December from 2pm to 9pm

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