Highways England has announced today (Monday 30 June 2020), that they are to host an online exhibition with interactive maps and videos as part of a new consultation into refinements for one on the UK’s most ambition road projects in a generation.

The further consultation into the multibillion-pound Lower Thames Crossing, which is to connect Essex, Thurrock and Kent, will give local people the chance to view and comments on refinements made to the project’s design, based on the feedback from earlier consultations, discussions with communities, design updates and emerging technical information.

The proposed refinements include:

  • minor changes to elements of the highways design;
  • new and updated paths for walkers, cyclists and horse riders;
  • proposals for redirecting and upgrading utilities;
  • more detailed landscaping proposals, and;
  • further developed ecological mitigation measures.

The consultation will be open between 00.01 Tuesday14 July 2020 and 23.59 Wednesday 12 August 2020.

Highways England Chief Executive Officer Jim O’Sullivan said: “The Lower Thames Crossing is part of the biggest investment in our road network for a generation and a crucial part of our future infrastructure. It will play a vital role in boosting local and national economic growth, providing reliable journeys, connecting communities and businesses.”

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “Our road network must be fit for the future and the Lower Thames Crossing will be key to this – almost doubling road capacity between Kent and Essex, boosting the local and regional economy and improving journeys across the South East.

“I encourage everyone to go online and have their say on the proposed changes to the design of the project.”

Highways England has already made several refinements to the project design based on feedback from previous consultations, engagement with stakeholders and, ongoing design work. The new consultation provides an important opportunity for people to have their say on the project updates before the planning application is submitted.

The consultation will also feature an online exhibition which will allow visitors to look at digital exhibition boards, like physical ones at events. It will also feature videos, an interactive map of the whole route and documents which will provide details of any design changes.

Another part of the consultation will also involve the project team hosting webinars to explain key changes, which also give the participants an opportunity to ask any questions to the presenters.

Those who do not have access to the internet or who have trouble downloading materials will be able to order a printed copy of the consultation materials to be sent to their homes and can also book a call back from a member of the project team should they have any questions about the changes.

From Tuesday 14 July, people can get involved by:

The proposed Lower Thames Crossing project will be a 14.3-mile, 70mph new road, with the longest road tunnel in the UK beneath the Thames. It will almost double road capacity across the Thames east of London, connecting communities, reducing delays and providing more reliable journeys.

The feedback from this consultation will help Highways England complete its application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) later this year, asking Government for planning permission to build the new crossing.

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