Letter to Editor: "A convincing argument against Option C"

Dear Sir,

>b>PROOF THAT NEW THAMES CROSSING OPTION ‘C’ WILL NOT WORK DUE TO THE CATCHMENT AREAS IN KENT.

I hope I can help you fight the new Thames Crossing Option C. It is quite a simple process to determine the amount of traffic that would use Option C if it’s built and thus prove it’s not good value for money, and in the longer term will not fulfill it’s needs.

At present there are four lanes either way going from Kent to Essex. The new scheme, wherever it goes will increase this by 50% ie another 4 lanes.

Please find attached map. I have marked out the catchment areas for the existing crossing (area B) and the new crossing if it is placed east of Gravesend (area A). It can be seen that area B is significantly larger; roughly 3.5 times larger than area A.

However considering the biggest conurbation in area A is the Medway towns, at around 285,000 people, this pales into insignificance when you consider how much of south east London is contained within the area B. So therefore perhaps population wise there maybe a ratio of 5:1 or even more.

Let’s assume for simplicity that population-wise area B contains 4 times the population of area A, then if option C were built, 80% of the traffic would continue to use the existing crossing, and only 20% would use the new crossing. This would not be good value for money allocating the new 50% capacity for only 20% of the traffic.

If the population ratio is bigger than 4 to 1, then option C would carry proportionately less than 20%. Further, assuming uniform traffic growth across both catchment areas, the existing crossing will become congested way before the C option is, and so it will be back to square one again. If the new capacity was built alongside the existing crossing, everyone would benefit from it.

The conclusion therefore is that there is no option but to give the new crossing equal access to both areas A and B. If you add to that the destruction to the countryside and villages that option C would entail, then it becomes an even stronger argument.

I hope this very convincing argument will help.

Kindest regards

Peter Richardson CEng MIET

Mays Farm, High Halstow, ME3 8QL.

T: 01634 251402

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