Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Please click on the + in the top right corner of each questions to view the answer.

Click here for the latest Lower Thames Crossing maps (issued 14th July 2020). There is an interactive map – https://arcg.is/0LSu4L to help you locate yourself in relation to the proposals. Regardless of whether you live inside or outside of the Development Boundary 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.
The current predicted cost of the proposed LTC is £6.4-£8.2bn.

Whilst HE seem to have gone out of their way to keep the rising costs as quiet as possible, this increasing cost was announced in the Road Investment Strategy paper that was released at the same time as the Spring Budget in March 2020.

This latest rise in cost now means that the cost of LTC is nearly £573.5m per mile, meaning it is more expensive per mile than the highly controversial HS2.

You can read more about the predicted cost here.
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.
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/
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!
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/
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.
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, Utility Trial Trenching, and Nail Surveys at various locations.  Read more on the various works and surveys here.
If you have any questions or concerns about issues on LTC investigative works sites, please email all the details to info@lowerthamescrossing.co.uk or call 0300 123 5000. You can find more info here on reporting concerns about investigative works, and also wildlife crimes.
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.  The Supplementary Consultation ran from Jan 29th to April 2nd 2020. The Design Refinement Consultation (DCO) ran from 14th July to 12th August 2020.Highways England submitted their Development Consent Order application on 23rd October 2020.  The Planning Inspectorate then have 28 days to decide whether to accept the application or not. Once that has been accepted by the Planning Inspectorate, it will move on to a Pre-Examination stage when members of the public will be able to register as interested parties for this and continue to take part in the process.  There is then an Examination stage, when the merits of the scheme will be examined.  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. Links to DCO related updates to our website will be listed here.
Please note whilst we try to share info when we can, we are not qualified to give legal advice, and would always recommend seeking your own legal advice when needed. Further info on Your Property/Land aspects of LTC can be found here.
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/ There are also some instances where queries over land rights can be related to inherited rights on ex-council properties. Again it is always best to query anything like this with HE, who should be able to better advise on why they are writing to you.
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 HE's submission of the LTC Development Consent Order (DCO) application a decision will be made as to whether the application will be accepted or not.  If accepted then you will be able to register as an Interested Party, to allow you the chance to keep having your say through the DCO Examination process. There are details of what you can do here and we will keep updating this as things progress! 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!