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Dartford and Gravesham council leaders say new crossing still needed

PUBLISHED: 11:46 01 December 2014 | UPDATED: 11:47 01 December 2014

Dartford Crossing

Dartford Crossing

Archant

But the pair can't agree on where it should go

The council leaders of the two Kent authorities closest to the Dartford River Crossing have stated that today’s changes to tolling arrangements are unlikely to lift the need for a third Thames River Crossing between Kent and Essex.

During an early morning visit to the Dartford River Crossing today to see the first full day of free-flow tolling, Dartford’s Conservative leader, Jeremy Kite, and Gravesham’s Labour leader, John Burden, united to offer support for a new crossing to relieve congestion from both towns although they did admit to holding differing views as to the ideal location.

Cllr Kite said, “John believes the new crossing should be much farther eastwards than the options currently under consideration whilst I support a route east of Gravesend but we both agree that something has to happen if our towns are to succeed. We are both leading communities with massive growth potential but all that will mean nothing if the roads stop flowing and nobody can do business or get home because of the congestion.”

Gravesham leader, John Burden, said, “Our two towns and councils work well together in the interest of our local residents and businesses. It’s true that we don’t agree on the location of a new crossing but that doesn’t stop us co-operating sensibly. It’s what local people expect of us and we both agree that today’s toll changes, though welcome, are only likely to meet the area’s needs for a short time. It would be far better for the economy, for the hauliers themselves and for our local towns if lorries and freight were able to cross the river earlier.”

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