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 12th May 2022).

There is an interactive map – https://ltcconsultation2022.nationalhighways.co.uk/map/ 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 proposed Lower Thames Crossing Route (July 2020)

Please note this map purely shows the line of the route, and not the development boundary or detail such as the new parallel road alongside the M25, or details of any junctions which are very extensive and large.
Official documents have the current predicted cost of the proposed LTC up to £9bn. This is as of 2020 though and the cost is now estimated to be £10bn+++.

The cost of the LTC has risen from £4.1bn in 2016. The adjusted Benefit Cost Ratio in 2016 was 3.3, as at 2020 it had dropped to 1.22. With the cost rising the BCR keeps dropping.

This cost means that the cost of LTC is more expensive per mile than the highly controversial HS2.

You can read more about the predicted cost here.
National Highways estimate that the LTC would take around 20% of traffic away from the current crossing, dropping to just 14% by 2044. 

Thurrock's Council's analysis of the official NH traffic modelling data estimated the proposed LTC would take as little as 4% of traffic away from the Dartford Crossing in the am peak hour, and 11% in the pm peak hour.

It is also estimated that the proposed LTC would result in around a 50% increase in cross river traffic if if goes ahead - induced demand.

See this post www.thamescrossingactiongroup.com/ltc-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.

There are also rail and tram options that could negate the need for the proposed LTC.

70% of goods in and out of the Port of Dover alone cross the Dartford Crossing. 42% of traffic using the current crossing is good vehicles. Yet the Port of Dover is not connected by rail. Rail improvements between Ashford and Reading would take more freight off the roads and onto more sustainable rail, and cost less than the proposed LTC.

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!
Some people have asked us why not a crossing further down river at Canvey. However, if you look at the data that was produced in a report for the Department for Transport (DfT)

Page 66 in this document https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100513123749/http://www.dft.gov.uk/about/strategy/capacityrequirements/dartfordrivercrossing/

Option D, a crossing between the M2 and Canvey, was only predicted to take just 3% of traffic away from the Dartford Crossing.

When you consider that the proposed route C3 only takes away 21% and that would still leave the Dartford Crossing over capacity it is easy to see that a crossing at Canvey would not help the issues we all suffer with due to the Dartford Crossing.
It is worth considering that over £53m was spent on the failed Garden Bridge in London before it was cancelled.

Also more than £115m was spent on developing Crossrail 2 before it was mothballed in Nov 2020.

Until such time as LTC is granted a Development Consent Order (DCO) they do not have permission!

That said, the DCOs for both the A303 Stonehenge and A38 Derby projects have both been quashed. The fight continues!
No, National Highways 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.
National Highways and their contractors have been carrying out Ground Investigation, whereby they are testing the types of soil, rocks, and water levels etc along the entire route.  They have also carried 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 ran from 14th July to 12th August 2020.

National Highways attempted to submitted their LTC Development Consent Order application on 23rd October 2020.  However, they then withdrew the application on 20th Nov 2020, as they had been advised by the Planning Inspectorate that it was due to be refused due to lack of adequate information being provided in the application and upon request from the Planning Inspectorate.

The Community Impacts Consultation ran from 14th July to 8th September 2021.

National Highways are holding the LTC Local Refinement Consultation from 12th may - 20th June 2022

NH resubmitted the LTC DCO application at the end of Oct 2022. The application was accepted for Examination in Nov 2022.

NH held a further round of consultation between 17th May and 19thJune 2023, the LTC Minor Refinements Consultation.

We have now been through the Pre-Examination stage, which is the stage where procedural matters are decided on how the examination will be held.

We are now in the 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 to decide whether to grant a DCO or not.  Until such time as a DCO is granted, if it is granted, National Highways 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 NH for definitive clarification, but it is worth knowing that NH 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 NH, who should be able to better advise on why they are writing to you.
Whilst NH 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/
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. Please take part in the Minor Refinements Consultation before 23:59 on Fri 20th June 2023.

Following NH'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!