Thames Crossing Action Group have called for RIS2, which includes the proposed Lower Thames Crossing, to be reopened.
What exactly does this mean?
RIS2 is the second road investment strategy (or government road building programme), and it includes the proposed Lower Thames Crossing amongst many other projects.
Since National Highways are a government company they have to comply with their Licence that sets out the Secretary of State’s statutory directions and guidance.
In this Licence clause 6.29 states:
Major variations, which would affect the Licence holder’s overall funding, have a material effect on the integrity of the RIS or otherwise compromise the Licence holder’s ability to comply with the RIS, would require the RIS to be re-opened.
When you start reviewing the many different aspects, it becomes clear that there have been major variations as described in the Licence, and as highlighted in our letter to Mr Shapps below.
- The RIS2 budget was reduced hugely by £3.4bn in the 2021 Spending Review.
- The 18 month delay to the proposed LTC (which is £8.2bn out of the £14.7bn RIS2 capital enhancements budget).
- Failure to progress the LTC was defined as an “existential threat” to National Highways in their Annual Report 2021.
- ‘Smart’ Motorways make up a large section of RIS2 and have been paused whilst 5 years of safety data is collected and analysed.
- The National Policy Statement that governs the RIS2 projects decision making process is being reviewed, and is not compliant with UK climate law.
- The increasing importance of UK Food Security and RIS2 would destroy so much agricultural land.
- New legal levels on air pollution are due to be enshrined into UK law by the end of Oct this year.
Our letter to the Secretary of State
On Monday 14th March 2022 we wrote to Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP, this is a copy of said letter.TCAG call for RIS2 to be reopened
You can scroll through using the arrows
If you are having any issues with viewing our response above it can also be downloaded as a pdf file here.
Update – 22nd March 2022 – We have today received an acknowledgement email from the DfT saying “Department officials are considering the contents of your letter and we will respond in full in due course.”
We will of course share any further response we get in this update
Transport Action Network call for RIS2 to be reopened (Feb 2022) – click here
National Highways License – click here
National Highways Annual Report and Accounts 2021 – click here (page 54 and 48/221 pdf numbering
TCAG call for pause of ‘Smart’ LTC – click here
New Civil Engineer (March 2022) – Pressure mounts on Shapps to ‘reopen’ £24bn road investment plan