Questions by Bryan Sweetland to to Matthew Balfour, Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Waste
Will the Cabinet Member please inform the Council what measures he has taken to ensure that adequate environmental protection and mitigation will be provided for my constituents in North Kent, many of whom will be adversely affected by the Government’s announcement to build a new Thames River Crossing at Gravesend.
Since the preferred route announcement on 12 April, meeting have taken place with Highways England at officer and member level. We have continued to make the case for environmental mitigation, including the removal of the proposed junction with the A226, which as well as reducing traffic and air quality impacts on the local roads network by containing traffic on the strategic road network, will also enable the tunnel portal to be moved further south than was previously proposed.
We have also supplied design information to Highways England that shows the potential for tunnelling the entire route to the A2, or as a minimum with some sections in deep cutting. This will help to reduce the air quality impacts as well as reduce noise and visual intrusion. Highways England is currently undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment of the preferred route and we expect a further consultation when we will have the opportunity to comment on their environmental assessment and continue to make the case for mitigation measures to protect constituents in North Kent.