One of the many things we have uncovered so far from the LTC Supplementary Consultation information, is that there will be an A13 bottleneck created if LTC goes ahead in it’s current design.
We are all more than aware of how much the A13 widening project, that Thurrock Council are currently working on costs. Not to mention how much disruption it is causing on our local roads. The A13 widening that is currently happening is nothing to do with Highways England. The idea of the widening project was meant to ensure that the A13 is 3 lanes in each direction between the M25 and the Stanford Junction. Details of Thurrock Council’s A13 widening project can be found on their website – www.thurrock.gov.uk/a13-roadworks/widening-a13.
However, if Highways England are granted a DCO for the proposed Lower Thames Crossing, with current designs, it would mean a section in each direction would result in a bottleneck section of just 2 lanes.
Look at the evidence
Click the image below to see in full size (opens in new window).
- Section of A13 westbound (heading towards London) that would be 2 lanes highlighted in blue.
- Section of A13 eastbound (heading towards Southend) that would be 2 lanes highlighted in yellow.
We are unable to comment at this stage as to how many lanes are to the east of this section of A13. The maps do not show lanes further east than where the Orsett Cock roundabout is located as can be seen below. It is worth noting that more of the A13 to the east of the Orsett Cock is now included in the new development boundary for LTC.
The maps used to create the image above were taken from Map Book 1 General Arrangments. We have rotated and joined to create the image you see, as HE seem to like avoiding showing things like this!
Count the lanes
Click the map below to open a close up without the coloured lines drawn on to count the lanes! We have popped a little dot each end of the 2 lanes section to give you a head start when locating the sections!
Or view Map Book 1 yourself, if you feel like a challenge of piecing together the relevant maps to count the lanes!!
The closest this comes to being shared in the consultation docs is when it is mentioned on pages 54 and 55 of the Supplementary Consultation Guide. It is simply referred to as point 7 – The A13 eastbound has been reduced to two lanes from four lanes, near the Orsett Cock roundabout. This removes the need for drivers to change lanes on the A13. Note how it only refers to eastbound.
We imagine that HE’s response when questioned on this will be that it is to do with industry standards of dropping lanes when you have a slip road leaving, and then it is added again as the next slip road joins the main route. We will be quizzing them on this, and more, once the HE info events begin!
However, we have to say that we don’t consider an A13 bottleneck a great improvement, and will be having our say on this as one of many many points in our response!
There are other bottlenecks within the LTC scheme, and we will cover those as separate updates shortly!