MP Gareth Johnson welcomes announcement on new Lower Thames Crossing

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson has welcomed this morning’s proposal by Highways England that the new Lower Thames Crossing should be built east of Gravesend and not in Dartford.

Option C, located east of Gravesend, with three local road variations, is now the preferred option being put forward by Highways England for public consultation as the site for the new Thames river crossing.

Gareth Johnson said: “This is great news for Dartford and something I have been fighting for since my election in 2010. I am now confident Dartford will not get another crossing.

We cannot accommodate another river crossing and we have worked hard to show Highways England that Dartford is not a viable option.

Option C, east of Gravesend is the only credible route for the Lower Thames Crossing which will be of benefit to all motorists as it offers an alternative route. It will also tackle the huge problems that exist with pollution in the area around Dartford and so I hope it will be built as speedily as possible.

This proposal is good news for anyone who needs to cross the Thames and will help provide valuable improvements in the road infrastructure in The Thames Gateway area.”

In the consultation report, it states that Option A, the route identified at Dartford “does not provide an alternative route, traffic would still be funnelled through the existing corridor from junctions 2 to 29 and incidents at Dartford would potentially still cause long delays and severe congestion on local roads.”

It also states that as construction is likely to take six years, there would be considerable disruption to traffic using the existing Dartford Crossing and it would would offer poor value for money in comparison to Location C.

Option C has been proposed because it would unlock significant wider economic growth, offers higher transport performance in terms of safety, capacity and resilience as well as an alternative for motorists.