HIGHWAYS England published their latest Lower Thames Crossing Community Update on the 17th March 2021.
Part of the update was a new video from Highways England in which they state that there is a need for the proposed Lower Thames Crossing since the current Dartford Crossing is over capacity. They say that the Dartford Crossing has a capacity of 130k vehicles per day, and is now regularly used by over 185k vehicles per day.
Going on to state that the proposed Lower Thames Crossing would take up to 36k vehicles off the Dartford Crossing every day.
Thames Crossing Action Group said:
“One of the first things we noticed in relation to these figures in the video is the fact that Highways England have previously always stated that the capacity of the Dartford Crossing is 135k vehicles per day. This just highlights yet another inadequacy from Highways England.”
“Regardless of which figure you use, this official Highways England video clearly shows, what we have been saying for some time now, that the Dartford Crossing would still be over capacity even if the Lower Thames Crossing goes ahead, and that’s not even taking into account the predicted traffic growth by the time Lower Thames Crossing opens, if it goes ahead, which is estimated to be around a 20% increase.”
“Highways England are admitting that the Dartford Crossing is running between 50-55k vehicles per day over capacity, and they predict this would only be reduced by up to 36k vehicles per day if Lower Thames Crossing goes ahead.”
“Of course this is also not taking into account things like the fact that Highways England are not considering how traffic would migrate between the two crossings when there are incidents, if the Lower Thames Crossing goes ahead, and that there are not adequate connections, which will result in even more congestion, chaos, and pollution.”
“Let’s not forget this is all at a cost of £8.2bn+ of taxpayer’s money. Does that sound like good value for money to anyone? Or the extremely negative impacts it would have on homes, lives, health, the environment, communities, ancient woodland, greenbelt, agricultural land (inc grade 1 listed), solar farms, wildlife and habitats, and so much more! The proposed Lower Thames Crossing is simply not fit for purpose.”