The Lower Thames Crossing route video takes drivers on a journey through the two mile long crossing, which will feature two tunnels taking a three lane road under the River Thames between Kent and Essex. It has been published to provide an early impression of what the road and tunnel could look like once completed. Work is continuing on the design ahead of the statutory consultation and the video represents the design of the route at the time of production.
What’s happening now?
The preferred route was announced by the Secretary of State for Transport in April 2017. We are still at an early stage of the process, and there is still a lot of work to be done on the design. We are gathering information and carrying out a range of assessments and surveys to help us better understand the area where we’re proposing to build the crossing.
We have been looking at the areas below as part of our ongoing development of the scheme based on your feedback to the 2016 consultation. This shows our current thinking for the design of the route, subject to further public consultation. Our aim is to make sure the crossing provides the best balance between improving journeys, creating opportunities for economic growth, and minimising community and environmental impacts.
M25 – New junction design to cross under the M25 to reduce the visual impact. Widening of a section of the M25 to improve traffic flow.
Ockendon – Realignment to avoid going across the landfill.
Access to the A13 and Tilbury:
A13 and A128 – Redesign of the junction with the A13 to reduce congestion. This would allow us to remove the A128 junction from the proposed design.
New junction near Tilbury – A new junction near East Tilbury and link road to Tilbury to improve traffic flow and provide an alternative route for HGVs.
A226 junction – Removal of this junction to reduce the traffic impact on local roads.
A2 – New junction design and widening of A2 to M2, junction 1 to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow.
Future proofing – Three lanes rather than two for at least some of the route.
Tunnel portals – Continuing our assessment about the length of the tunnel and where to locate the entrances.
What areas are affected?
- What is the development boundary?
You might be worried about what the Lower Thames Crossing will mean for your home, your land, your property or your business. Since the announcement of the preferred route in April 2017 we have written to all those whose land or property falls within the development boundary.
In July 2018 we made further changes to the development boundary. The new development boundary is illustrated by the red line on the plans we have produced and shows the land we want to protect from conflicting development in case we need it for constructing or operating the Lower Thames Crossing. We have asked local planning authorities to protect the land inside the development boundary from any new development that could potentially conflict with the scheme. They will let us know if any planning applications are submitted within 200 metres of the development boundary.
The development boundary comparison plan shows a comparison between the previous development boundary and the new boundary so you can see where we have made changes. Further information can be found in Your property and our road proposals.
What if my property is within the development boundary?
If your property is within the development boundary you may be eligible to serve a blight notice on Highways England to request that they purchase your property. Blight is when the value of a property is reduced because of large scale, or major, public works and the owners are unable to sell it at market value. Further information can be found in Your property and blight.
- What if my property is outside the development boundary?
Property owners outside the development boundary may be eligible for the Highways England’s discretionary purchase scheme if they meet certain criteria and their property is severely impacted by the proposals. For more information please review Your property and discretionary purchase.
What happens next if my property is affected?
We are in the early stages of the project so there is still plenty of time to decide what you would like to do. We are carrying out further design work, which may mean changes to the development boundary in the future. During the consultation that is planned to take place next year you will have a further opportunity to have your say on the scheme’s development and to shape our proposals before we submit our application for a Development Consent Order.
Major construction works will not begin until after the Development Consent Order is granted. At this point, we will need to start taking ownership of land along the route. Your property and compulsory purchase outlines further information about this process.
We will contact affected landowners if there are changes to the development boundary, if we have new information or if there is something you need to do, such as requesting access to your land to carry out surveys.
If you have any further queries please contact our land and property team who can help you understand potential impacts, your options and rights.