Lower Thames Crossing campaigners respond to consultation

A CAMPAIGN group has submitted a twelve page response to a consultation on the Lower Thames Crossing project saying it will damage the environment.

Highways England is carrying out a public consultation on the £8.2 billion project to create two 2.5mile tunnels under the Thames will connect Kent and Thurrock and provide an alternative route for Dartford Crossing and Blackwall Tunnel.

The Lower Thames Crossing Action Group submitted a response to the National Highways Route Strategies RIS3 consultation, a national road building programme which includes the Lower Thames Crossing.

The group says it would be “hugely destructive and harmful, would not meet the project objectives, and is not fit for purpose”.

The group has cited climate change issues and a need to focus on reducing the number of vehicles on UK roads rather than just building more. It also says people’s health and wellbeing is being ignored over financial considerations and the scheme will have an impact on wildlife in the area.

The response said: “National Highways cannot simply keep destroying and impacting greenbelt, woodlands (including ancient woodlands) wildlife and habitats, and other valuable natural assets.

The group concluded: “As previously highlighted evidence shows that building more roads just leads to more traffic, and more traffic means more congestion, more congestion leads to more roads, in a never ending cycle of hugely destructive and harmful road projects. If Highways England and the Government truly want to move forward we need to move away from the mentality that building more roads is going to solve problems because the reality is that is actually just adds to the problems and makes them worse.

“We need joined up thinking on all aspects of saving and protecting the environment, people’s health and well-being, and adequate research and actions to ensure the best and most sustainable, environmentally friendly, and healthy options are considered and progressed. Projects like the proposed Lower Thames Crossing are hugely destructive and harmful, and need to be stopped immediately.”

Highways England says it is carrying out “detailed surveys to understand what habitats are in the area around the project, and the wildlife they support” and to protect woodland, grasslands, wetlands and marshes within Kent and

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