Lord Randal is Chair of the Essex Climate Action Commission. He is also a peer and former environmental adviser to Theresa May during her time as Prime Minister. As her adviser, Lord Randall was closely involved in the policy of setting a net zero target by 2050 in law.
Due to his role as Chair of ECAC and his background working on getting Carbon Net Zero into UK legislation we thought it very important that we attempt to reach out to him about the proposed LTC.
We sent the email below , but has also since reached out to him on Twitter too, where he has also now started following TCAG! We hope that once he’s had a chance to review some of the info we may hear from him with some comments on where he stands in regard to LTC!
Dear Lord Randall and fellow Commission members
Can we please ask that the following message is distributed to all Commission members and anyone else you feel relevant, thank you.
We are Thames Crossing Action Group, we represent thousands of people who are opposed to the proposed Lower Thames Crossing, and wanted to reach out to you as Essex Climate Action Commission. We understand that the commission was set up to advise Essex County Council about tackling climate change. Also to identify ways in which the Council can mitigate the effects of climate change, improve air quality, reduce waste and increase the amount of free infrastructure and biodiversity in the county, whilst also inspiring others to do the same.
We also recently saw you, Lord Randall, on the live webcast, State of Nature with Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin, and listened with interest and shared details of the petition with our supporters following the webcast.
More recently we also appreciated learning from Cllr James Abbott about the planning application for expansion of Colemans Farm Quarry near Rivenhall End, which includes reference to spoil disposal in relation to the proposed Lower Thames Crossing. We had been asking for further details of where Highways England proposed disposing of the spoil, if LTC goes ahead, for some time now, and they have never shared any detail with us, so this info was very welcome and appreciated.
With all this in mind please allow us to highlight some of the main concerns we have with regard to the proposed Lower Thames Crossing.
The original task of a new crossing was to solve the problems we all suffer with due to the Dartford Crossing, the congestion and pollution. Yet sadly the proposed Lower Thames Crossing project has morphed into being about economic benefits instead. It would create a hugely destructive toxic triangle, and the current estimated financial cost of the project is now up to £8.2bn. We refer to it as the estimated financial cost because there are of course other costs such as to people’s lives and health, and the environmental cost.
The proposed Lower Thames Crossing would destroy homes, lives, health, greenbelt, woodlands (including ancient woodlands), agricultural land (including grade 1 listed land), solar farms, countryside, wildlife and habitat, the environment, communities, and so much more. The estimated carbon emissions of the LTC are over 5 million tonnes (2 million tonnes through construction, and 3.2 million in first 60 years of operation).
The Dartford Crossing would remain over capacity, even if LTC goes ahead, a fact proven using Highways England’s own data – https://www.thamescrossingactiongroup.com/lower-thames-crossing-is-not-fit-for-purpose/ Not only that HE/LTC are not considering or planning how traffic would migrate between the two crossings, if LTC goes ahead, when there are incidents and there are not adequate connections. This would result in yet more chaos, congestion and pollution.
You may also have recently seen Highways England’s attempts to greenwash the LTC with publicity about a new community woodland at Hole Farm near Great Warley. To be clear this woodland is not part of the LTC scheme and would be sited alongside the M25, not the LTC. https://www.thamescrossingactiongroup.com/he-community-woodland-nothing-to-do-with-ltc/
We’d also like to bring to your attention the fact that Transport Action Network have two legal challenges against the Government. The first on climate grounds in regard to the Road Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2) which will be heard in the High Court on June 29th and 30th. The second is about the extremely outdated roads policy that doesn’t take important aspects into consideration, such as the Government’s legal commitment to Carbon Net Zero.e have a lot more info on our website, covering many different aspects of why we are strongly opposed to the proposed LTC, and the fact that it is simply not fit for purpose. If you would like help with locating any particular info or aspect of the project please don’t hesitate to ask.
We hope that you will agree that the proposed LTC is simply not fit for purpose, and would be hugely destructive and toxic and should be halted immediately. We would particularly appreciate any assistance you may be able to offer in helping spread word about the proposed LTC in general and with another round of consultation due to start in July. We know many within Essex County Council apparently support it, but hope that with your help we may be able to ask them to reconsider, after all now more than ever the issue of climate change is critical, and we all deserve the right to breathe clean air. Neither of these issues will understand borders and boundaries, so the fact LTC may not be on the doorstep of those further afield in Essex, it should still be taken seriously and every attention to detail and consideration given in regard to the realities of LTC and the horrendously negative impacts it would have if it goes ahead.
We are strong believers that Together we are Stronger, and hope you will join us in our fight against the proposed LTC.
We would welcome your comments, either as individuals or as the commission as a whole, and thank you for your time.
Chair – Thames Crossing Action Group
If Lord Randall or any of his fellow commission members read this on here, we’d love to hear from you – firstname.lastname@example.org Together we are stronger! Thanks
Since this email was sent Highways England have announced that the LTC Community Impacts Consultation will start on Weds 14th July and run 8 weeks through to Weds 8th September 2021.