New Dartford crossing options revealed
31 May 2013
Author: Jack Carfrae
The Government has announced plans for an additional road crossing east of London to supplement the QE2 Bridge and the Dartford Tunnel.
Roads minister Stephen Hammond announced the following three possible options for the new crossing, one of which will be selected after a consultation period: at the site of the existing A282 Dartford crossing; connecting the A2 Swanscombe Peninsula with the A1089; connecting the M2 with the A13 and the M25 between junctions 29 and 30. The variant to the final option would widen the A229 between the M2 and M20.
Hammond said: "With traffic levels expected to increase by a fifth over the next 30 years, it is vital we take action now on the future of a new Lower Thames crossing to make sure that our road network is able to meet the future economic needs of the country.
"This is the first step in making sure that the residents, businesses and motorists who rely on the crossing receive the service they expect and deserve in the years to come."
He urged businesses and regular users of the current crossing to express their views about the new plans before a final decision is taken.
"I encourage anyone who uses the existing crossing or has an interest in the location of the new crossing to let us have their views on these proposals. This will enable us to make the right decision on the location."
The Government will announce a final decision on the project in autumn 2013. Before then, it will host six public information days in the Lower Thames area from 13-22 June, where businesses and residents can find out more about the project and speak to members of the consultation team.
It has also set up an online response form and is accepting reactions by email or post.
The announcement follows an increase in the Dartford crossing toll of a third for all vehicles in October 2012.
The increase was, at the time, said to be to fund the implementation of electronic, barrierless charging, due for introduction in 2014, as well as investigating the feasibility of an additional crossing.
Full information for those wishing to attend an information event or submit views about the new crossing can be found at the Department for Transport's website. Correspondence must be submitted by 16 July.