Hundreds of protesters gather against Option C proposals
PUBLISHED: 16:19 29 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:45 29 February 2016
The protest was held on Saturday
Hundreds of protesters took to Gravesend’s town square on Saturday to voice concerns over the latest Thames crossing proposal.
As a consultation on a proposed crossing east of Gravesend reached its half way point, campaign groups and local councillors all attended the protest.
Highways England has recommended a proposed route heading from the M2 through the Gravesham countryside, but last week the transport minister Patrick McLoughlin claimed the government were still considering a second crossing at Dartford.
Bob Lane has been campaigning against the proposed crossing east of Gravesend, as part of Abridge2far, and was present on Saturday.
He said: “There were a number of speeches from local figures including Bryan Sweetland, the county councillor, John Cubitt, the council leader and our local MP Adam Holloway.
“I’d say there was around 500 people protesting, and we received attention from national news, which means Highways England know about it, the transport minister knows about us and we’re not going to take this proposal lying down.
“This protest demonstrates the strong opposition that is felt from people in the Gravesham area, particularly in the villages of Shorne, Chalk and Higham.”
Chairman of Shorne Parish Council Robin Theobald said he was pleased with the attendance.
He said: “I think the protest had the desired effect, as a parish council we saw a lot of local people attending the protest.
“That number of people coming out on such a cold day, it was very well attended.
“I think all of the speaker’s raised good points, the leader of council pointed out that they have set aside money and they are intending to fight these proposals.”
But as protesters gathered, a national group has provided its backing for the proposals.
Terry Hudson from the Alliance of British Drivers said: “This long overdue road improvement is most welcome, and is essential to relieving intense daily congestion on the current Dartford Crossing, cutting costs for trucking firms and providing more reliable journey times, especially for cross-channel traffic.”
However the group did declare it was “totally opposed” to any form of road tolling on the proposed route.