Highways England have just announced the final route for the Lower Thames Crossing tunnel and associated roads and have started formal consultation - responses to this are due by 20th December 2018 .
The new (tolled) route runs from the A2/M2 in Kent on the south side of the Thames, to the A13 and Junction 29 of the M25 in the London Borough of Havering on the north side ( see map below). HE predicts that it will improve journey times along parts of the A127 and M20, and cut congestion on approach roads to the Dartford Crossing (see map below).
It will also increase capacity across the Thames from four lanes in each direction currently (at Dartford) to seven lanes each way (Dartford plus the Lower Thames Crossing) and allow nearly double the amount of traffic to cross the Thames. HE predicts that the road will carry 27 million drivers are forecast to use the Lower Thames Crossing (around 75,000 vehicles a day). The Tunnel is expected to open in late 2027, and estimates have been made of traffic assuming the same tolls as the current Dartford Crossing.
There is very little substantive information on the HE consultation website ( such as technical detail of impacts and reports), when we get this we will provide more information.
Clearly the new road opens up strategic access to parts of Thurrock, Essex and Kent, and relieves other parts of the strategic network – these will bring opportunities for land use development of different types.Image Sources:Routeing: Highways England Lower Thames Crossing ConsultationPhoto: www.bbc.o.uk