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Where should a new Thames crossing go?

PUBLISHED: 12:56 03 July 2013 | UPDATED: 14:32 03 July 2013

Dartford Crossing

Dartford Crossing

Archant

A consultation about where to build another lower Thames crossing closes on July 16, so residents have less than two weeks left to respond.

A consultation about where to build another lower Thames crossing closes on July 16, so residents have less than two weeks left to respond.

The proposed sites are at the existing A282 Dartford-Thurrock crossing; at Swanscombe, connecting the A2 with the A1089; and east of Gravesend, connecting the M2 with the A13 and the M25 between junctions 29 and 30.

Here, local politicians give The Reporter their views on where the crossing should be.

Find out more and give your views at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/options-for-a-new-lower-thames-crossing.

Gravesham Council leader John Burden

I understand that Cllr Jeremy Kite (Dartford Council leader) would be against two of the proposals but his views are insupportable. The Gravesend east options would rip a gaping hole in the green belt and potentially decimate the environment and the communities of Chalk, Shorne and Higham.

He wants the government to show courage – I want the government to show a little common sense and put off the decision until after the Dartford toll booths are removed to ascertain the true scale of the problem. I urge people to use the consultation to state firmly that none of the options are acceptable.

A crossing east of Gravesend (option C) could endanger important environmental sites and lay to waste historic communities. Worse, it would open the door to developers using this new corridor to fill in the countryside. Once such a decision is taken, the area would be blighted forever.

Dartford Council leader Jeremy Kite

There are lots of reasons why a new link at Dartford would be disastrous, but my opposition to option A at Dartford and option B at Swanscombe is more than nimbyism.

A huge amount of the freight traffic passing across the current crossing is headed north and it would be good for the economy to allow it to cross the Thames as early as possible. That means a crossing east of Gravesend and can only mean option C.

At the moment, delays can be caused not just at the crossing itself but by problems on the M25 on either side. Putting a new crossing at the same site simply doubles the opportunities for things to go wrong and offers no resilience when they do.

Pretty much everyone in Dartford is affected by the river crossing. Motorists are stuck in queues, businesses are delayed, and almost everyone else is caught up in increased local traffic or has to live in the shadow of poor air quality. I am calling on all residents and businesses to respond to the consultation making clear that Dartford cannot accept another crossing. It has to be option C.

Councillor Bryan Read, ward councillor for Swanscombe

Building a crossing at Swanscombe would annihilate planned growth for the area. The developers of the planned theme park already say they wouldn’t build here if a crossing went ahead here.

The congestion at the Dartford Crossing is the worst in Kent. The pollution is awful and lung cancer rates are high. A crossing there only make it worse. That rules out that option.

Swanscombe is just a few miles away and would do nothing to ease traffic flow.

East of Gravesend looks like the only option although it would be better if the government considered a crossing nearer the ports at Dover. Lots of the traffic is HGVs heading north so they should cross the river at the earliest opportunity.

I have not heard any resident say they favour another crossing at Dartford or at Swanscombe. The current one affects everybody’s quality of life here. People can’t get home from work and pollution is very bad. It can takes me two hours to go to Dartford, just a few miles away.

Your tweets

@pitchy1uk

East of Gravesend so it don’t interfere with the theme park!!

@Adjacent13

Of the 3 suggestions it must be option C as both crossing and M25 either side is over capacity.

@NorthOckendon

Option C would destroy Kent and Essex green belt and destroy North Ockendon Say No to option C

@gravesendvoice

Are they going to remove the tolls first at Dartford and see what impact that has before deciding on anything?

Let us know what you think- tweet @northkentnews or email kate.nelson@archant.co.uk

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