Dartford MP Gareth Johnson welcomes decision to build new Lower Thames Crossing east of Gravesend

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson has welcomed a decision by the Government to build the Lower Thames Crossing at Option C east of Gravesend.

Mr Johnson said: “This is possibly the most significant decision affecting Dartford in a generation. It is not only the right decision for Dartford but also for the whole country. Many of us have worked hard, often behind the scenes, to convince the Government that it would have been wrong to locate another crossing at Dartford and funnel more traffic in to the area and on to roads that can’t cope as it is.

It would have been catastrophic for Dartford if we had lost this argument. Locating the Lower Thames Crossing east of Gravesend is the right approach and I am pleased the Government has agreed. This decision gives motorists a choice and will provide resilience for the road network.

It will of course take approximately ten years to complete and so we will not experience the full benefit until then but the prospect of having hugely disruptive roadworks in Dartford over the next decade has been lifted.

In the meantime the Secretary of State has announced plans for £10 million to be spent in the area on measures to ease some of the existing problems. Nobody is claiming this money will completely remove the current problems but they should provide some benefit. In addition, Highways England will continue looking at ways to improve the flows of traffic across Dartford whilst the building of the Lower Thames Crossing takes place.

I understand this decision may not be welcomed by residents in Gravesend but we will do what we can to ensure the impact on the environment is limited.

For more than a decade there has been uncertainty about where this crossing would be placed. Now the decision has been made we must get on with the task of building it.

Dartford residents have suffered misery on the roads for years and I am convinced this decision will mean a better future, with less congestion and less pollution.”