HIGHWAYS England’s latest consultation seeking views on refinements to the design of the Lower Thames Crossing ended last night.
The four-week consultation was seeking feedback on the latest refinements to the design including more detailed landscaping proposals; updated paths for walkers, cyclists and horse riders; and further developed environmental mitigation plans.
The refinements were based on feedback received from the supplementary consultation held earlier this year, ongoing design work, and a greater understanding of technical constraints.
In line with the Government’s latest guidance on managing COVID-19, Highways England held a digital first consultation featuring a dedicated consultation website which received nearly 41,000 visitors, and an online exhibition that saw over 13,000 visits. More than 1000 people responded to the proposed design refinements.
Shaun Pidcock, Project Director, Lower Thames Crossing said:
“We’d like to thank everyone for taking the time to visit our online exhibition, attending our webinars, speaking to us over the phone and emailing and writing to us with feedback. Your responses will help shape this transformative project to maximise its benefits.
“We’ll continue to work with businesses, communities and local authorities to develop the design and maximise opportunities to unlock economic growth and improve access to leisure, retail and job opportunities.”
To help people understand the proposed changes, a number of materials, documents and maps were available including a new interactive map and videos of the route. As well as these materials, webinars were held where members of the project team explained and answered questions about the proposed refinements.
Members of the public were also able to order consultation materials to their home, and telephone surgeries provided an opportunity to talk with members of the project team.
The Lower Thames Crossing proposals include 14.3 miles of new roads connecting the longest road tunnel in the UK beneath the Thames to the existing road network. It will almost double road capacity across the Thames east of London, connecting communities, reducing delays and providing more reliable journeys.
Now the consultation has closed, Highways England will analyse the responses received. These will inform the project’s planning application, known as the Development Consent Order (DCO) application, to be submitted later this year.
As part of the DCO application, Highways England will also submit a Consultation Report, explaining how the issues raised during the consultations were considered and addressed.