THAMES Crossing Action Group (TCAG) have today written to Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP, welcoming ’his announcement to pause the rollout of new Smart Motorways and have called on him to extend this pause to the Lower Thames Crossing.
National Highways have already admitted that the new road “ will however be designed to Smart Motorway standards…” Therefore, TCAG can see no valid reason why the Lower Thames Crossing should be excluded from this pause. Potentially, the risks for this scheme will be even higher in a tunnel with no hard shoulder and few safety refuges.
Laura Blake, Chair of Thames Crossing Action Group said:
“National Highways is effectively building a Smart Motorway by stealth with its construction of the Lower Thames Crossing. It is notable that when we raised concerns about it being a Smart Motorway National Highways suddenly stopped calling it a motorway. They now refer to it as an all-purpose trunk road to try and hide what they really want to build.”
“We’re calling on Grant Shapps to pause the Lower Thames Crossing. It’s a Smart Motorway in everything but name. We trust that he won’t be hoodwinked by National Highways’ renaming of the scheme. Now that we have raised this oversight with him, we trust he will be move to reassure the public at the earliest opportunity.”