TCAG email to Jackie Doyle-Price

Sent to Jackie Doyle-Price MP at 15:47 on Wednesday 18th March 2020

Dear Ms Doyle-Price

Having read your recent press release in regard to the proposed Lower Thames Crossing we felt the need to email you.

Firstly we would like to state our concern that you have not taken the press release as an opportunity to make any comment on the fact Highways England are continuing with the current Supplementary Consultation, regardless of the fact that they have cancelled the remaining public info/mobile events.  Obviously we can understand and agree with the reasoning behind not holding these info events due to the Coronavirus. However, in ours and many others opinions this should now mean that the whole consultation is postponed until such time and the info events can be held in a safe and adequate manner.

As outlined in our email dated 16th March, which you were copied in on, it should also be taken into account that members of the public are quite rightly distracted from the LTC consultation as they are dealing with the very real aspects of the Coronavirus.  How can anyone be expected to give the consultation the usual attention they would during such unprecedented times?  It should also be questioned, if people are staying away from the public events because of the virus, and now unable to attend due to the cancellation of events then what impact will it have on validity/range of comments?

We would appreciate your comments on this aspect of the consultation please.

With regard to your press release we would point out that the Spring budget report/RIS2 shows that the Government are now allocating up to £8.2bn against LTC, not £6.8bn that you quote.  The new cost per mile working on the figure of £8.2bn would be nearly £573.5m per mile. A ludicrously extortionate amount for something which will still leave the Dartford Crossing over capacity, does not have adequate connections to the existing road network, and has not taken into account how traffic will migrate between the two crossings when there is an incident, if LTC goes ahead, which create absolute chaos.

We would appreciate clarification from you on what you consider to be Route 4 and why you feel this would be better for Thurrock. Also why you feel Thurrock did not take the decision to back this option.

We are very interested to know how you carried out this survey, as we wonder if it was a wide enough coverage, since none of the thousands of members of our group seem to have been aware of it!

We are still at a complete loss as to understand why you cannot see the benefits of Option A14 over C3.  The main issues with congestion on the Thurrock side of the crossing are due to incidents at the QE2 bridge. The reason we suffer congestion at junction 30 is purely down to the traffic having no way to move and get across the river when there is an incident.  The main issues with congestion on the Kent side of the crossing is down to hazardous vehicles needing escorting and the traffic lights being turned red every 20 mins, along with junction 1a being too close to the tunnel portals.  If all the national traffic was using Option A14 to bypass the current crossing then all of these issues would better dealt with, and certainly a much better alternative to what is being proposed.

We would also ask if you have considered the impact the proposed route will have to the whole of Thurrock when there is an incident, especially as there are not adequate connections to the existing road network and the southbound LTC between the M25 to just past the A13 is now proposed to be just 2 lanes.  Please feel free to take a look at and and indeed any other updates on our website that you wish!

We would also draw your attention to and ask if you have actually read Thurrock Council’s response both to the impacts to Thurrock from the LTC, and their official consultation response?  Quite clearly and on numerous occasions they state the lack of adequate meaningful communication from Highways England.

We would also point out that we are pretty sure that many of the residents in the areas where the Tilbury Link Rd will connect to the LTC, if it goes ahead, will certainly not be as happy as you are with regard to this addition.  We would also ask if funding has now been found for this link road, should it not be considered a part of the LTC scheme?  Or is this just another way to try and ease the DCO for the LTC through, and improve the BCR of the LTC scheme?

Thank you for your time, as I am a resident in your constituency we hope to receive a response from you in due course.

Kind regards

Leigh Hughes
Address removed for privacy
Vice Chair – Thames Crossing Action Group