THURROCK MP Jackie Doyle-Price has told new Transport Secretary Mark Harper that the current design for the Lower Thames Crossing is ‘past its sell-by-date’ and he should ‘rip it up and start again’.
Ms Doyle-Price has been a consistent critic of the route of the crossing, though she has always supported the need for more river crossings away from the existing Dartford crossing. She believes that the existing design will worsen the congestion on Thurrock’s road network.
Speaking today (Tuesday, 15 November) after publishing her letter to the minister, Ms Doyle-Price said: “What we have before us now is an M25 bypass for Dover HGV traffic. There is no advantage for our Port sector under this current design.
“It is 15 years since the Government started to consult on this route. Much has changed in that period. Most notably Brexit.
“Brexit has totally transformed the economics of Port activity. It has removed Dover’s competitive advantage over other Ports. It is why Tilbury 2 opened to take new European port traffic.
“When the circumstances change then decisions should be revisited.
“I fully support the need for more crossings across the Thames but I am afraid that this particular proposal has now gone past it’s sell by date. It will no longer deliver the benefits intended. We should, in short, rip it up and start again.
Ms Doyle-Price also repeated her demands for new east facing slips on the A13 at Lakeside.
She said: “I can suggest a quick win to address congestion at the Dartford crossing. Junction 30 of the M25 remains a serious bottleneck.
“Not least because the A13 has no east facing slips at the lakeside junction. Consequently traffic has to travel west to junction 30 and 31 to go east.
East facing slips at the Lakeside junction would alleviate a considerable amount of congestion and would make the road network more resilient when there are traffic incidents.”