EventsInfoLTC Consultations

Summer 2019 Lower Thames Crossing Project Update

Highways England have today, Mon 22nd July 2019 released their Summer 2019 Lower Thames Crossing Project Update.

The full update can be found at –

What have they told us?

Highways England have provided a summary of the responses to the Statutory Consultation that ran between Oct 10th and Dec 20th 2018.  The full consultation report – providing detailed information about the consultation process, the issues raised, and setting out Highways England’s responses to the issues raised – will not be published until Highways England submit their application to the Planning Inspectorate for a Development Consent Order, which they expect to happen in Summer 2020.

The consultation received 28,493 responses, including 2,117 campaign responses and responses from 55 prescribed consultees. Responses were submitted in several formats, including 25,210  online responses, 945 feedback forms (both by email and via the post) and 221 free-text letters and emails.

So what is their summary of responses?
Lower Thames Crossing Project update Summer 2019

Click the + and – to zoom in and out on the images, and the arrows to move through the document in the pdf above.


Notice how the summary of response to question 1a gave the result they were trying to obtain by using the wording that they did!

  • 1a. Do you agree or disagree that the Lower Thames Crossing is needed?
    73% Stongly agree / 13% agree / 3% neutral / 3% disagree / 8% Strongly disagree / <1% don’t know

Many of us will agree that a new crossing is needed, but there question was specifically about the proposed Lower Thames Crossing as the design showed at time of consultation.  Wording like this is how they manipulate the responses to get the results they want!


They also released an Executive Summary of the issues raised during the Statutory Consultation

Excutive Summary of issues raised during LTC consultation

Click the + and – to zoom in and out on the images, and the arrows to move through the document in the pdf above.

Your chance to discuss and ask project related queries

Highways England are holding some events for local communities to go and discuss the report and other project related queries with their  team at the following locations:

  • Thurs 8th Aug – 10am-9pm – Bluewater Shopping Centre, DA9 9ST (Lower Rose Gallery 4)
  • Fri 9th Aug – 9am-10pm –  Bluewater Shopping Centre, DA9 9ST (Lower Rose Gallery 4)
  • Tues 13th Aug – 10am- 7pm – Grays Town Centre, High Street, Grays, RM17 6LU
  • Weds 14th Aug – 10am- 7pm – Grays Town Centre, High Street, Grays, RM17 6LU
  • Thurs 15th Aug – 10am-5pm – Outside Upminster Library, 6 Corbets Tey Road, Upminster RM14 2BB
  • Thurs 22nd Aug – 10am-5pm – Bay Tree Shopping Centre, Brentwood, CM14 4BX
  • Tues 27th Aug – 10am-7pm – Gravesend Town Centre, King Street, DA12 2XX (Outside NatWest)
  • Weds 28th Aug – 10am-7pm – Gravesend Town Centre, King Street, DA12 2XX (Outside NatWest)
  • Thurs 29th Aug – 10am-5pm – Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre ME7 3PD (Yellow Car Park, opposite Argos)
  • Weds 4th Sept – 10am-10pm – Lakeside Shopping Centre RM20 2ZG (Level 1)
  • Thurs 5th Sept – 10am-10pm – Lakeside Shopping Centre RM20 2ZG (Level 1)


  • Mon 9th Sept – 10am-7pm – Cascades Leisure Centre, Thong Lane, DA12 4LG (Opposite Regan’s Bar)
  • Tues 10th Sept – 10am-7pm – Stanford House Car Park (Coronation Ave end) East Tilbury, RM18 8SB

These dates/locations have been added in response to people voicing their opinions that these two locations need and deserve to be included in these events, due to their proximity to the LTC. Now the dates/locations have been added please make sure you get along to them!!


What’s next?

Highways England should be using the consultation response analysis to ‘improve’ and develop their Development Consent Order (DCO) application, which they now intend on submitting in Summer 2020.  HE will continue to share design updates with stakeholders and communities, and may need to consult further on proposed changes.

You might remember we have commented previously that we anticipate that HE will hold a targeted consultation. Now we just have to wait for further announcements!

Highways England’s current view of things moving forward

2019 – Preparing their planning application

Summer 2020 – Submission of DCO application (the Planning Inspectorate has 28 days to decide if the application meets the required standard to proceed, including whether HE’s consultation has been adequate).

2020 – Pre-examination of DCO application. (At this stage anyone can register with the Planning Inspectorate as an interested party and make formal representations about the project)

Late 202 / early 2021 – Examination (The Planning Inspectorate has six months to examine HE’s application. Registered parties can send written comments to the Planning Inspectorate and can ask to speak at a public hearing).

2021 – Recommendation (The Planning Inspectorate will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport within three months of the end of examination period).

2021 – Decision (The Secretary of State then has three months to issue a decision. This will be followed by a public announcement.  If approved construction could begin soon after).

2027 – This is when HE expect to open LTC to traffic if the DCO is granted.

Thames Crossing Action Group Comments

As you can see there is still a long way for HE to go with the proposed LTC.  We anticipate there will be a targetted consultation and it is important that at such time as many people as possible are aware and take part.  Each consultation stage of LTC has resulted in unprecedented amounts of responses, which has taken extended periods of time for HE to analize.  Let’s keep that pattern going and ensure we give them as much feedback as possible at any future consultations!

HE are also still waiting to find out about funds being allocated for LTC since the Chancellor’s announcement in Autumn 2018 that PFI/PF2 (private) funding was being abolished.  Changes to the project and time delays must also be pushing the cost up.  It could even be possible that the price will rise so much it ends up no longer being financially viable, only time will tell!

We are also aware that it is a time of great change/debate in British politics at the moment.  We can expect the announcment of a new Prime Minister in the very near future.  With that there is likely to be a change in cabinet, which could mean a new Secretary of State for Transport.  Who knows who we will end up with and what their take on LTC will be.  Again time will tell.

To summerise, Highways England haven’t even applied for the DCO, let alone been granted permission. We still have chances to voice our opinions and must continue to do so at every given opportunity!  Together we are stronger!