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Green Party hits out at 'short-sighted and flawed' lower Thames crossing plans for Gravesend

PUBLISHED: 09:12 28 January 2016 | UPDATED: 09:12 28 January 2016

A computer-generated image of the bored tunnel

A computer-generated image of the bored tunnel

Archant

Party raises fears over increased traffic and pollution as a result of Highways England decision to consult on new tunnel

The Green Party says plans confirmed this week to push ahead with building a multi-billion pound tunnel between Gravesend and Tilbury, in Essex, are “short-sighted and flawed”.

Highways England said it is to consult on ‘Option C’ - rather than Option A at Dartford - for a new lower Thames crossing.

It is proposed the route will help ease congestion at Dartford, and open up the transport network linking the gateway to Europe with the rest of the country - along with the economic benefits that will bring.

But the Greens argue a second crossing would do nothing to tackle congestion in the long term, as it would facilitate increased road travel, known as ‘induced traffic’.

They have say they are also “heavily concerned” about the wider impact on local residents and the environment.

Kent County Council Green Party councillor, Martin Whybrow, said: “Kent has some of the highest air pollution levels in the country, and developing further road networks does nothing to counter this.

“With air pollution in Kent responsible for hundreds of deaths every year, it’s time to stop pouring money into more polluting roads. We need cleaner, sustainable travel options that move people and freight away from vehicles, for the sake of people’s health and the sake of our environment “

The Green Party’s national transport spokesperson, Caroline Russell, added: “Instead of building more roads and encouraging more people to travel by car, we need policies which are fit for the 21st century. Our government just participated in securing a global deal to tackle climate change - in light of this commitment, our obsession with carbon-intensive travel has to end.”

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