Last weekend people in Dartford town centre were able to see the plans for the proposed Lower Thames Crossing at an exhibition in the Orchard Shopping Centre. These consultation events, which are being held throughout the area, have been valuable in allowing people to understand the proposals and get a clearer picture of what a future crossing might look like.
Highways England has recommended Option C, east of Gravesend, as its preferred route and on Saturday people who opposed this option held their own demonstration.
What is clear is that the overwhelming majority of people who object to Option C come from the Gravesham area. Most others, outside of the affected area, support it being built there. Organisations such as Highways England, Kent County Council and business groups and the haulage industry all want Option C. People who have any degree of objectivity tend to conclude Option C is the only way of providing an alternative for the motorist.
Some people naïvely believe the solution lies at Dartford. However, you could have 100 more crossings located here and we would still have a pinch point as traffic funnels through a small area. The local roads can’t cope as it is. As we see in central London, the only system that works is to have the crossings spread out and not concentrated in one area.
I would urge everyone in Dartford to have a look at the plans and take part in the consultation process which closes on March 24th.
We need to ensure the Department of Transport knows the strength of feeling here in Dartford. We cannot have another crossing in Dartford.