Frequently Asked Questions
Find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get as a group regarding the proposed Lower Thames Crossing.
- Where would the preferred Route C3 Lower Thames Crossing go? How will it impact me?
Click here for the latest Lower Thames Crossing maps (issued 29th Jan 2020).
Regardless of whether you live inside or outside of the Red Line area, there is no doubt that you will be affected in some way by the proposed Lower Thames Crossing Route C3.Some issues to consider are:
- Air and noise pollution – Pollution is already terrible and C3 will just add to it, creating a toxic triangle in the borough.
- Extra traffic in the area, we already get people cutting through the borough if there are issues with the current crossing, with C3 it would just encourage more cut throughs.
- Greenbelt land being built on and developed
- The current crossing issues that we are all aware of, not being resolved by Option C3, traffic will have increased by the time C3 is finished to the extent that the current crossing will still be above full capacity once C3 is built.
- Has the service station been removed now?
Whilst HE have announced that they have removed the service station in the Supplementary Consultation. If you dig deeper they are still working on possible locations for a service station to be added as a potential stand alone project at a later day – www.thamescrossingactiongroup.com/initial-reactions-to-the-ltc-supplementary-consultation/
- How much traffic will Route C3 take away from the current crossing?
Highways England’s own figures state that C3 will take 22% of traffic away from the current crossing. But have a read of this post www.thamescrossingactiongroup.com/lower-thames-crossing-is-not-fit-for-purpose/ to view the figures/data that prove that will still leave the current Dartford Crossing over capacity.
- Are there any alternatives that ease congestion on the current crossing better than C3?
Yes Option A14 would take at least 40% of traffic away from the current crossing. Option A14 is a long tunnel that would go from around J2 on the M25 and come up between J30/29. It would finally complete the M25 as a true motorway orbital (the current crossing is the A282 not motorway), and take all national traffic away from the current crossing. Blighted houses and impact on greenbelt would be minimal, and pollution would be improved as all tunnel air could be filtered. It would be a new modern standards tunnel so no need to stop traffic every 20mins to escort hazardous vehicles as with the current crossing. Read more here – www.thamescrossingactiongroup.com/alternative-route-option-a14/
- Why have they chosen C3 rather than A14 then?
The then Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling announced C3 as the preferred route on the 12th April 2017. Our opinion is C3 has been chosen as it opens up the area for land grab, housing and development, which A14 does not. Local Authorities in the region have Local Plans that include ten of thousands of new homes and developments. The original criteria of fixing the problems at the current crossing seem to have been pushed further down the list in preference of economic growth. Not that they will be able to count all their money without clean air to breathe!
- Have they got permission to start building the Lower Thames Crossing?
No, Highways England have not got permission to start construction it yet. Until such time as they are granted a Development Consent Order they cannot legally start construction, or compulsorily purchase any properties or land. More on the process can be found here.
- What are the works I have seen along the proposed route then?
Highways England and their contractors are currently carrying out Ground Investigation, whereby they are testing the types of soil, rocks, and water levels etc along the entire route. They are also carrying out Archaeological Trial Trenching and Surveys at various locations. Read more on Ground Investigations here, Archaeological Trial Trenching and Surveys here, and our Ground Investigation site visits here.
- What happens next?
There was an informal consultation in 2016, then a statutory consultation in late 2018 (Oct 10th-Dec 20th 2018). These previous consultations had unprecedented amounts of responses. Jan 29th 2020 sees the start of an 8 week Supplementary Consultation that will end on March 25th 2020. We need to ensure that even more people are prepared with the facts and take part in the consultation. Highways England are currently planning on submitting their Development Consent Order during the Summer this year. Once that has been accepted by the Planning Inspectorate, it will move on to an Examination. Members of the public will be able to register as interested parties for this and continue to take part in the process. After the Examination comes to an end it will ultimately be up to the Secretary of State for Transport (currently Grant Shapps MP) to decide whether to grant a DCO or not. Until such time as a DCO is granted, if it is granted, Highways England cannot legally start construction or Compulsorily Purchase any property or land. We posted about the process here.
- I’ve had letters from Highways England about my property/land what should I do?
Please note whilst we try to share info when we can, we are not qualified to give legal advice, we have made some suggestions that you may wish to consider, and you can find out more about Blight and Discretionary Purchase here.
If your letter states you may be entitled to claim Part 1 Compensation read this.
- My letter from HE states that my property/land is now in the development boundary, but when I look at the map it doesn’t appear to be in the development boundary, what’s going on?
We would always recommend contacting HE for definitive clarification, but it is worth knowing that HE do sometimes send out erroneous letters – www.thamescrossingactiongroup.com/highways-england-have-sent-more-letters-with-errors/
- What else can I do?
We need to ensure that as many people as possible are aware of the facts regarding the crossing, and that it isn’t a done deal. Following on from the informal consultation in 2016, the statutory consultation in late 2018, and the Supplementary Consultation in early 2020, a Design Refinement Consultation will run from 14th July through until 12th August 2020 that we need as many people as possible to respond to please. More details on that can be found here. There are also details of who you can write to here if you wish to! The group is made up of local resident volunteers. Whether it’s helping leaflet your area when needed, or legal advice, if you feel you can help in anyway, we’d love to here from you! Get in touch here!
We hope this list of FAQs, alongside the rest of the website, helps to answer any questions you may have. If not then pop over to our Facebook Group, our Twitter account, or send us an email and ask away!