Campaign groups and councils in Shorne unite against 'option C' for Lower Thames Crossing
PUBLISHED: 14:21 15 February 2016 | UPDATED: 14:21 15 February 2016
Over 300 people attended a council meeting on Friday night
Over 300 people turned out in force at Shorne Village Hall on Friday to oppose the government’s plans to build a new Thames crossing east of Gravesend.
The meeting was a unification of various campaign groups and parish councils in their fight against the so-called ‘option C’, which proposes building a bored tunnel east of Chalk, with a new road being built from junction 1 of the M2.
Among those present were representatives from Shorne Parish Council, Higham Parish Council, Abridge2Far, concerned residents from across local villages, and MP for Gravesham, Adam Holloway, who gave what spectators described as a “rousing speech” in opposition to the plans.
There are fears that a crossing in this location would devastate the environment and community, and not actually reduce the current problems experienced at the Dartford Crossing.
While nothing is set in stone as yet, discussions are ongoing to unite these groups and create one large body to tackle the problem head-on, with over 1,000 signatures already received on a petition asking the government to reconsider its options.
Robin Theobald, chairman of Shorne Parish Council, said: “All the seats were taken and we had over 50 people having to stand so it was a really great turnout.
“As soon as there is a threat to our community, you have to bring everyone together and that’s what we’re doing.”
Bob Lane, from campaign group Abridge2far, added: “Everybody is very unhappy about the proposals, and the fact it appears we have no choice, so it was important to come together because there are a number of different groups working towards the same goal.”
Local residents were urged to make their voice heard during Highways England’s on-going consultation, although many were unaware of the option to have their say.
“All the information is online, and while there are packs distributed to libraries, you can only really find out about it online,” Mr Lane said.
“That makes things difficult for some of our residents who don’t use computers, so it’s definitely a flawed system, and unacceptable for people not to have all the information five weeks into an eight-week consultation.
“Therefore we’re going door-to-door to make sure people know how they can have their say.”