National Highways have today (15th March 2022) announced that they will be holding a Lower Thames Crossing ‘Local Refinement Consultation’.
The new 5.5 week consultation will begin 00:01 on Thursday 12th May and will run to 23:59 on Monday 20th June 2022.
By association this must also mean that their original proposal to hold the consultation from 24th March – 22nd April has been postponed to these new dates. Why they ever thought it would be deemed acceptable to attempt to hold a consultation during the original timeframe that clashed with pre-election purdah period (for Thurrock and Havering), as well as Easter, and had only been due to last 4 weeks is beyond us. So here we are now with new later dates and a slightly longer consultation period.
How can we find out more?
There will be a consultation website that will include all consultation materials as well as details of events, webinars, how to find out more, and how to respond to the consultation. As with all things these days, certain aspects of the consultation are subject to change in line with any government COVID restrictions etc.
The consultation materials will be available online at https://ltcconsultation2022.nationalhighways.co.uk/ when released at 00:01 on the 12th May 2022.
If you visit the consultation website at the moment you can pre-order paper copies of the consultation materials, which will be delivered following the launch of the consultation on 12th May. If you would like multiple copies of the response form and return envelope, you can call 0300 123 500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request them.
They have also said that there will be public consultation events in various locations, materials available to collect at some locations, and a telephone call back service with optional screen sharing, details of which are all still to be shared.
What will it be about?
Topics of consultation include:
- Amended plans for Tilbury Fields, a new public park on the north bank of the Thames, to make space for the planned Thames Freeport.
- More public open space to the east of the tunnel entrance in Kent, connected to Chalk Park – the proposed new public park overlooking the Thames.
- Additional environmental compensation and mitigation with potential woodland and public access.
- Replace a slip road on the A13 junction with a new link from the Orsett Cock roundabout to the A1089 to reduce traffic impacts on local roads.
- Modified the access to the northern tunnel portal providing safer operation of the tunnel facilities and better access for emergency services.
- A new footbridge over the A127 and further improvements for walkers, cyclists and horse riders including improved bridleways.
- Further refinement of utility works to enable the project to be built.
We’ll all have to wait until the consultation materials are released at 00:01 to find out for sure what it all means, but it is worth remembering that we can also provide other feedback that we feel relevant too!
We understand and appreciate that people are suffering with consultation fatigue and that we’ve all had, and have still got a lot going on, but we really do hope that as many people as poss will take part in the Local Refinement Consultation and have your say. We will bring you more info as it becomes available.
What happens after consultation?
Once the consultation has ended National Highways will have to ensure all responses are logged, read, and analysed. They should then make decisions on any changes that are needed as a result of the responses received. If there are any significant changes then a further round of consultation would be needed. However, at this stage NH are suggesting that they don’t believe there is likely to be a need for any further consultation, and that their aim is to resubmit the Development Consent Order (DCO) later in 2022. Worth noting that they have said this at previous consultations and here we are again!
National Highways announcement about consultation – click here
LTC Local Refinement Consultation website – click here
LTC for walkers, cyclists, horse riders – click here
LTC Tilbury Junction? – click here
National Highway Community Update Video (March 2022) – click here