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UPDATE: Westminster terror attack appears to delay Lower Thames Crossing announcement

PUBLISHED: 11:25 23 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:38 23 March 2017

South portal Lower Thames Crossing

South portal Lower Thames Crossing

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A decision was rumoured to arrive this week

Where would ‘option c’ go?

Campaigners against a crossing east of Gravesend have long been against any development in the Gravesham countryside.

That opposition was stepped up last year when Highways England’s Lower Thames Crossing consultation voiced support for ‘option c’.

But what is it?

Option c has three possible routes, all of which will see a new road built through the Gravesham countryside, through a so called ‘green lung’ between Gravesend and Rochester, past the villages of Shorne and Higham.

The road would start at junction one of the M2 and head north, where a bored tunnel would eventually cross into Tilbury.

Once in Essex, the road will continue north, branching off onto the A13, and further on, to a brand new junction of the M25 near South Ockendon between junctions 29 and 30.

Rumours of a Lower Thames Crossing announcement coming out today appear to have been halted by yesterday’s terror attack.

Earlier this week senior figures in both Dartford and Gravesham both confirmed they were expecting a decision in the coming days, with one claiming transport secretary Chris Grayling was due to make his announcement at some point today.

However, there have also been suggestions the announcement could be pushed back in light of yesterday’s terror attack in Westminster.

The Department of Transport have not yet commented either way.

Both boroughs have been waiting to find out whether a new crossing will be built in the Gravesham countryside or at the existing crossing in Dartford, since the end of a consultation last year.

The consultation was the largest ever for a UK road project with more than 47,000 responses.

Highways England ran the consultation and used the opportunity to voice its support for Option C - a bored tunnel east of Gravesend.

Since then, the government has remained tight-lipped on its preference, with the Department for Transport saying a decision will be made ‘in due course’.

As both boroughs wait with baited breath, there is widespread belief in both areas that the government will give its backing to Option C.

Ahead of the decision, read our essential guide to the Lower Thames Crossing, here.

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