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The people of Dartford are being misled over the Lower Thames Crossing and consigned to decades of misery, says Abridge2far spokesman Bob Lane in a letter to the Dartford Messenger.
Highways England’s own traffic forecasts predict that, even with a new crossing east of Gravesend, traffic volumes at the Dartford Crossing will only fall from the current level of 140,000 vehicles a day to around 138,000 a day, which is still well over its designed capacity.“That’s almost 99% of current traffic volumes, and we all know what that means for congestion and pollution” said Bob Lane.
In fact by 2041, just 16 years after the proposed new crossing is planned to be completed, Highways England forecasts that traffic at the Dartford Crossing will be well over 150,000 vehicles a day.
“The tunnels can’t cope with the current levels of traffic,” said Bob, “so we can be certain that with no improvements planned, traffic at Dartford will grind to a standstill long before then.”
“The people of Dartford have been led to believe that a new crossing east of Gravesend will be the panacea to all their problems, when the reality is that Highways England has just abandoned Dartford to its fate, with the same old congestion problems and the same old-fashioned tunnels that are just not fit for purpose.”
“We urge the Government to force Highways England to reconsider Option A14, dual tunnels from 800 metres south of junction 2 to 1300 metres north of junction 30, bypassing the existing crossing and the congested A282 link road completely, and finally completing the M25. This would remove all M25 through traffic, bringing a massive reduction in traffic volumes, noise, and pollution to the long-suffering people of Dartford”, said Bob.
“Without this, it is inevitable that a new bridge at Dartford will quickly follow any new crossing east of Gravesend, ostensibly as part of a “road-widening” scheme.”
(A copy of Highways England’s traffic forecasts is attached to this press release.)
*Note to Editors
abridge2far is an organisation which opposes any form of the Option C proposals to locate a new Lower Thames Crossing east of Gravesend. For further information, please contact Bob Lane on 01474 822680 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.