Representatives from LTCA, including Adam Holloway MP, Gravesham Councillors, Parish Councillors, and key local group representatives, met with representatives of the Highways England Lower Thames Crossing team at Gravesend Civic Centre today, 18th January 2018.
LTCA strongly expressed the concerns of the majority of Gravesham residents adversely impacted by the LTC. This included the strong desire to see the tunnel portals extended as far south as possible; the need for cut-and-cover green bridges either side of Thong Lane; the need to redesign the A2 junction to improve access to the A2 and to avoid creating a rat-run through Thong; the need to take appropriate measures to minimise the impact of additional traffic through Meopham and Sole Street; the need to consider non-pedestrian traffic.
Whilst we welcomed the abandonment of the A226 junction, we expressed our disappointment that we still have no visibility of traffic data or forecasts, despite this being promised by the end of 2017, and the fact that Highways England do not share their proposals with us until they are already in the public domain. LTCA only found out that about the latest design in November from members of the public. We impressed upon them that we cannot possibly have confidence that they are taking our views on board unless they make greater effort to keep LTCA informed of their design development considerations before they are published and cast in stone.
Highways England undertook to “look at” each issue raised. This was repeated so many times, it became a bit of a joke. LTCA sincerely hopes that Highways England gives our concerns serious consideration. It was decided not to meet again until such time as there was further news on the design development, which is anticipated in around two months.