THE Government’s decision to back a crossing at Location C and Route Option 3 for the Lower Thames Crossing has been welcomed by Essex County Council as a ‘big step forward to ending costly traffic queues’.
Highways England consulted on plans to create a new Thames Crossing in March last year (2016) with an unprecedented 47,000 responses.
Today (Wednesday) the Government announced it would be going ahead with Location C Route Option 3 linking the A2 in Kent and the M25 in Essex between junctions 29 and 30.
The route offers the opportunity to create more than 6,000 jobs and boost the economy by more than £8 billion.
As part of the plans they have also announced investing a £66 million to widen the A13 Stanford-le-Hope bypass from two to three lanes.
Andrew Cook, Director for Highways and Transportation at Essex County Council, said: “Today’s announcement will transform Essex’s transport infrastructure. A new Thames Crossing is vital to help continue to promote economic growth within the county and keep Essex moving.
“We also are pleased to hear the additional announcement on widening of the A13 to support increased economic activity in south Essex and the pressure this brings about on key infrastructure in the area.
“This crossing is a big step forward to ending costly traffic queues that often form around the crossing and can tailback onto our county’s roads.
“We have made our position in support of Option C clear throughout, but it is important that we now work together with partners to mitigate the impact of these works.
“Planning and development of improvements to other roads and junctions affected by the new crossing including the A12, A127 and M11 will also need to be looked at.
“We look forward to continuing our very constructive working relationship with Highways England, developing this infrastructure over the coming years to help create a joined up transport network across the south east.”