Sent on Sunday 15th March 2020 at 15:14
To: Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps MP, Highways England CEO, Jim O’Sullivan, Health Secretary, Matt Hancock MP, firstname.lastname@example.org
CC: Stephen Metcalfe MP, Jackie Doyle-Price MP, Julia Lopez MP, Adam Holloway MP, LTC Planning Inspectorate, Local Authorities – Thurrock, Gravesham, Havering
I am emailing on behalf of the Thames Crossing Action Group, we represent thousands of people in the areas where the Lower Thames Crossing is being proposed. We would like to express our serious concerns about the current LTC Supplementary Consultation public info and mobile events in light of the current Coronavirus (COVID19). With recent news that local elections are being postponed for a year, we feel that public events like consultation events should also be postponed.
We would highlight that we keep being told by Highways England/LTC staff that the info events are for members of the public to attend to get answers to questions, especially when we question why certain info is either not available, nor not easy to understand in the consultation materials.
After those whose homes are directly impacted, we would say that the next highest level of concern is in regard to the impacts LTC would have on people’s health, especially in relation to air quality. The kind of people who currently suffer, or will be most susceptible to these kind of health impacts are those who are also most at risk with regard to the Coronavirus.
We would therefore ask for your serious and immediate consideration as to whether the remaining LTC public info events should be held, and also take into account the impact this will have already had on attendance to info/mobile events. Are we not all legally entitled to adequate consultation? We are aware that there are people who have purposely avoided attending info/mobile events due to serious concerns over Coronavirus, especially those who are deemed to be most at risk.
This request is in addition to the inadequacies of consultation that we have already identified with regard to the misleading out of date official LTC website, and also growing evidence of other aspects of inadequacies of consultation. We contact you at this time specifically as a matter of urgency with regard to the Coronavirus risk aspect of this consultation.
We would ask you to please consider not only cancelling/postponing the remaining events, but also to reschedule a complete re-run of the Supplementary Consultation once the Corona Virus threat has passed, so that everyone had the opportunity of adequate consultation without fear of risking their health, and in some instance potentially their lives, in light of the Coronavirus.
Thank you for your time and consideration, we hope to hear from you soon.