This week a study has identified the UK as Europe’s third most congested country with drivers spending more than 30 hours a year stuck in traffic at peak times.
Here in Dartford congestion in and around the crossing has been an ongoing issue causing misery for residents for years.
In fact today, in 2017, we are trying to deal with a problem in Dartford that should have been dealt with 15 years ago. However, nothing was done at that time to plan for the increased congestion on the Dartford crossing and so we are playing catch-up.
For me, the report highlights the necessity of having a Lower Thames Crossing away from the already over-congested Dartford Crossing. It is critical the Government makes the right decision and a new crossing is built at Option C, east of Gravesend.
The completion of recent roadworks in Essex has had a positive impact on the northbound traffic which has improved the flow slightly, but it only takes one incident to cause traffic chaos.
Dartford residents have suffered for far too long and we need an alternative crossing east of Gravesend. It would be catastrophic to build another one at Dartford.
This is why I have been working with other partners to try and ensure this outcome. We must also make sure plans are in place to tackle the existing problems with traffic flows in and around Dartford whilst the new crossing is being built.
We need the Government to make a decision on this issue but above all we need the right decision for Dartford and I will continue to press for this.