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Campaigners call on Lower Thames Crossing consultation to be scrapped

PUBLISHED: 17:01 17 August 2016 | UPDATED: 11:44 18 August 2016

South portal Lower Thames Crossing

South portal Lower Thames Crossing

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Government ministers are set to make a decision later this year

Campaigners against a Lower Thames Crossing east of Gravesend have called for the government to nullify a recent consultation, due to “fundamental and irreconcilable differences”.

The Lower Thames Crossing Association campaigns against a Thames crossing which would see a road built through the Gravesham countrside, past Shorne, crossing the river into Essex.

According to the LTCA, Highways England told its consultation teams to inform members of the public that a second crossing at Dartford, viewed as an alternative to the Gravesend option, was not part of the consultation..

Five weeks into the consultation, which started in January, government ministers assured locals that ‘option A’ was still on the table, stating it was, in fact, part of the consultation.

Bob Lane, from the LTCA, said: “In any event, it was too late for those individuals who had already responded to the consultation, and it doesn’t change the fact that there were no questions about Location A.

“Highways England denied the public the opportunity to give their views on Option A, despite the government minsters’ statements to the contrary.”

Highways England consultation manager Martin Potts commented: “We carried out the Lower Thames Crossing consultation earlier this year to invite people’s views on our proposals. More than 47,000 people took part, making it the largest ever public consultation for a UK road project.

“We were clear that a new Lower Thames Crossing between Gravesend and Tilbury – Location C – would offer better performance against transport objectives, particularly around resilience, than a new crossing at Location A, near the existing Dartford Crossing. Additionally it would also attract greater economic benefit than any solution at Dartford.

“There was an opportunity for people to say in the consultation questionnaire if they didn’t agree with our proposals. We have welcomed all views so we can make the best possible recommendation to Government, who will make a decision later this year.”

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