Thursday, May 30, 2024

MP Stephen Metcalfe tells Minister that planned Lower Thames Crossing remains a flawed project

EAST Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe has reiterated his concerns about the proposed Lower Thames Crossing project.

Mr Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock met with Roads Minister Guy Opperman in Orsett to discuss the impact that the proposed Lower Thames Crossing will have on the area and other villages in Thurrock.

The proposed crossing has recently completed the Development Consent Order Process (DCO) and it now sits with the Department for Transport for a final decision.

Mr Metcalfe pointed out that he had grave concerns that the proposal, if constructed, would not actually address the problem of congestion at the existing crossing and that people in Thurrock would still experience catastrophic gridlock when the Dartford Crossing failed.

He also expressed concern that the cost of the project was getting ever higher, with the IPA Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline Report published in February 2024 stating that construction material prices are over 40% higher than in January 2020 (see report).

Mr Metcalfe questions whether the project can deliver value for money or whether the money would be better spent elsewhere.

The Minister explained that it is not he who would make the decision, as he is too close to the project, but did say that he would respond to the concerns in due course and thanked Mr metcalfe for raising his concerns so robustly.

The decision is due from the Department for Transport on 20 June and, whichever way it goes, Mr metcalfe has pledged to continue to work with all the parties involved to ensure that, if the proposal does go ahead, the disruption is minimised.

He concluded: “I am grateful to the Minister for his time and will continue to put the case that the LTC is too expensive and will not solve our problems with the existing crossing.”

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