Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has announced the preferred route for a new Lower Thames Crossing
The new crossing will create a new link between the A2 and the M25 and aims to reduce the burden on the busy Dartford Crossing. The Lower Thames Crossing is expected to carry 4.5 million heavy goods vehicles in its first year.
The planned route will run from the M25 near North Ockendon, cross the A13 at Orsett, before crossing under the Thames east of Tilbury and Gravesend. A new link road will then take traffic to the A2 near Shorne, close to where the route becomes the M2.
This route was identified by the majority of nearly 47,000 respondents to a consultation on a new Lower Thames Crossing as the best solution for reducing traffic and congestion at the notoriuos Dartford Crossing and for boosting the economy by improving links to London and the Channel ports.
A further £10m will be used to improve traffic flow at and around the existing crossing as well as studying ways to further tackle congestion. This will include a wide-ranging investigation into options to cut ‘rat-running’ through Dartford and Thurrock.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “The new Lower Thames Crossing, and other improvements in and around Dartford and Thurrock announced today, will further strengthen our economy while also creating thousands of jobs.”
In addition to the Lower Thames Crossing, the government is investing a further £66m to widen the A13 Stanford-le-Hope bypass from two to three lanes. This investment is part of a £78.85m Thurrock Council project scheduled to be complete by the end of 2019.