The New Lower Thames Crossing that is planned is expected to unlock a great deal of economic benefit as well as create thousands of jobs. The new crossing that will be situated below the Thames is thought to unlock economic benefit worth billions of pounds. The Highways England Chief Executive has expressed praise for the Government’s announcement regarding the Thames Crossing.
The Government has announced the preferred route for the new crossing. The Chief Executive for Highways England, Jim O’Sullivan has said that the new crossing will help reduce journey times and increase passenger traffic across the east of the Thames. The crossing has been marked to go ahead east of Gravesend and Tilbury.
Highways England will be expected to deliver the crossing which will require the construction of a new tunnel and will relieve some of the traffic pressure that is put on the Dartford Crossing. The Dartford crossing is currently to only road that crosses the Thames in the East of the city. The new crossing will be connected to the road network with a new road that will join on to the M25 in between junction 29 and 30. The roads on the south side of the river will connect the crossing to the A2 east of Gravesend.
The decision to create the new Thames Crossing has come after years of studies and a consultation in 2016 that received a record number of responses. Consideration has gone into the location and development of the bridge and it is thought that the scheme will cost £4.4 billion. The route will last for 13 miles and will have a 70mph speed limit and will improve the journey across the Thames for a great number of drivers.
It is thought that somewhere in the region of 55 million journeys are made on the Dartford Crossing each year. It is thought that this figure is 6 million more than the bridge was designed to take. The bridge also suffers from closures and incidents nearly every day. Therefore, a new crossing will help relieve the pressure on the crossing and hopefully reduce the traffic. The crossing could also lead to more jobs being created.