Since we reported on the first week of the LTC DCO Examination, we thought we’d also add a quick update about Open Floor Hearings 2 and 3 too. We hope it will not only give you an insight into what’s been coming up at the hearings, but also on what you can expect if you are considering requesting to be heard yourself at a future hearing. The deadline to make sure a request or submit a Written Representation is 18th July 2023, and is your big chance to let the Examiners know your concerns, so please do have your say!
Anyway back to Open Floor Hearings 2 and 3!
Open Floor Hearing 2
The second Open Floor Hearing took place on Weds 28th June 2023, and took place both at Orsett Hall Hotel, Essex, and online virtually.
Thames Crossing Action Group were in attendance, and Chair Laura made the oral representation on behalf of the group. We’ve popped the recording on that section of the hearing queued up ready for you to watch and see the representation we made on everyone’s behalf below!
There were some great representations by residents, and others.
As a point of particular interest, Essex County Council expressed their support of the LTC, but then went on to detail their concerns! These included (but were not limited to), opposing the lack of Tilbury Link Road, having severe concerns about the LTC having only 2 lanes southbound from the M25 to A13, concerns about the lack of direct connection from the A13, being disappointed with the lack of provision for cross river cycling, concerns about the interface of the LTC with the Brentwood Enterprise Park, the lack of provision for bus services and public transport, and traffic flows being impacted at numerous junction locations, the need for proper impact monitoring of the scheme (to include air quality, noise, socioeconomic factors, and traffic)
Open Floor Hearing 3
The third Open Floor Hearing took place on Weds 5th July 2023, and took place both at the Dartford Bridge Hotel, Kent, and online virtually.
The representative who was due to speak for Dartford Borough Council was up first, and was quick to say that he no longer wished to speak as planned, as evidently the points they were going to raise are now being discussed with National Highways/LTC! We have to wonder if it was the threat of whatever the issues were being raised at the hearing that has prompted NH to start communications with Dartford.
Despite the representative saying he would no longer be talking, one of the examiners did take the time to point out she had read the council’s relevant representation which explained their support of the proposed LTC, and in particular that it would support their plans for growth in the area. Miss Laver (the examiner in question) was quick to ask whether consideration had been given to the fact that the proposed LTC is supposed to be about reducing congestion at and around the Dartford Crossing, and whether the growth that the council were hoping for would just introduce more traffic and congestion, wiping out any reduction the proposed LTC may bring. Whilst the council representative was not asked to respond there and then, it was noted that they will be asked to respond to this point sometime during the examination.
We think this is a very good point, and look forward to a response from Dartford when they are asked to provide comment on this. They moan about the congestion, but then want to make things worse by encouraging and allowing more and more development and growth in an area that simply cannot take it. It’s crazy!
CPRE made representation on behalf of both the Kent and Essex branches, who voice their continued opposition, and covered some great points about the huge impacts and harm the proposed LTC would cause if it goes ahead. The Lead Examiner said that CPRE may be invited to a future Issue Specific Hearing.
There was also a gentleman who whilst he seems to support LTC had some serious concerns about the issue of rat running and safety aspects to the local communities, if the LTC goes ahead. This was something the Examiners seemed keen to learn more about, and have said they may carry out an unaccompanied site inspection at some point during examination to get a better understanding of those communities/roads.
We hope you found this quick update on Open Floor Hearings 2 and 3 helpful, and if you wish to watch these, or any of the meetings and hearings that have already taken place please click through and check out the recordings to catch up.
LTC DCO Updates Index – click here