Not building a new crossing at Dartford would be ‘catastrophic’ following new congestion figures

LTCA response to recent press

“It would be catastrophic” not to build another Thames Crossing at Dartford following new figures showing the amount of time drivers spend in traffic.

New figures released by data company INRIX show that drivers spend on average 32 hours per year in traffic jams during peak times in the UK.

These figures show the urgent need for a second Thames crossing to alleviate the pressure at the Dartford Crossing, but not for it to be east of Gravesend.

A local MP said: “We are trying to deal with a problem in Dartford that should have been dealt with 15 years ago but nothing was done at that time to plan for the increased congestion on our local roads and we are therefore, to a certain extent, playing catch-up.”

There is nothing in the report that identifies the need for having a Lower Thames Crossing away from the current over-congested Dartford Crossing. On the contrary, it highlights the urgent need to address the problems which cause the congestion at Dartford. 

Figures previously released by a satnav company showed the average speed approaching the Dartford tunnels anticlockwise on the M25 during rush hour was just 7.75mph.

Option A14 would finally remove all M25 through traffic from the existing crossing and from the A282 through the populated areas of Dartford, putting it deep underground, dramatically reducing traffic congestion on the approaches to Dartford.

Dartford residents have been suffering for far too long.  To build another crossing east of Gravesend while leaving the problems at Dartford would be catastrophic to the people of Dartford.

We also need measures to tackle the existing problems to help the traffic flows in Dartford whilst any new crossing is being built.

It has been more than a year since Highways England invited feedback on plans for another tunnel linking Kent and Essex.

More than 47,000 people took part in the consultation but there has been no announcement from Highways England.

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