LTC delayed by 2 years

Today, 9th March 2023, Transport Secretary, Mark Harper MP has issued a statement in which he says that whilst the proposed Lower Thames Crossing will still be examined in the DCO process, if it is granted permission the start of construction would be delayed by 2 years.

He stated:

To date we have spent over £800m on planning the Lower Thames Crossing. It is one of the largest planning applications ever, and it is important we get this right. We remain committed to the Lower Thames Crossing, and the Development Consent Order process will be an important opportunity to consult further to ensure there is an effective and deliverable plan. In order to allow time for this process, and given wider pressures on RIS, we will look to rephase construction by 2 years.

The news has also been confirmed to TCAG by Stephen Metcalfe MP, who said he had spoken to the Minister about it!

A two year delay could see other policy changes affect decision making too, with the road policy statement currently being reviewed and updated, and the Transport Select Committee’s current inquiry into the strategic road investment strategy.


What TCAG say!

Thames Crossing Action Group, Chair – Laura Blake said:

This is the beginning of the end for this troubled scheme,  Rather than delay, the government should put the scheme out of its misery and cancel it for good, rather than continuing to blight people’s lives, The country cannot afford £10bn+ on a project that is not effective  or fit for purpose, nor deliverable at a time of climate emergency.

Whilst we welcome this news, we will continue to present our evidence to the Examining Authority as to why the proposed LTC fails to meet scheme objectives and should not be granted permission.  Our fight continues!


What others are saying!

New Civil Engineer have quoted Addleshaw Goddard partner and planning and infrastructure consenting lawyer Francis Tyrell saying:

“The key factor really is whether it is sustainable for government to continue to authorise the processes for the Lower Thames Crossing and HS2 Phase B (to Manchester), both of which are already underway.

“The delay means that much of the already submitted impact assessments for those schemes will have to be updated, but—more importantly—may call into question the underlying business case for the infrastructure (benefit-cost ratio), given that the construction costs are only likely to increase over time.

“Updating all that information may trigger a requirement to reconsult, which would upend the development consent order programme for LTC (where the clock is, in theory, already running)…”

“Added to that is the question of whether it is legitimate to have powers of compulsory purchase hanging over property for protracted periods of time where there is no intention to implement them in the short term.”




Media Coverage of the announcement (it’s been busy for interviews!) – click here

The Guardianclick here

Transport Action Network – Road programme in turmoil!click here