What is happening now on the Lower Thames Crossing
The Lower Thames Crossing supplementary consultation has now ended (at 23:59 on 2nd April 2020), read more.
After carefully considering the issues from the 2018 statutory consultation, and carrying out further design development, we are now proposing a number of design changes and our supplementary consultation is your opportunity to view and comment on these changes.
We have launched a comprehensive programme of Ground Investigations (GI) along the route of the Lower Thames Crossing. Tests will be carried out at over 700 locations, including over 400 boreholes, ground water sampling and monitoring, shallow trial pits and a wide range of unobtrusive geophysical surveys.
We have also started investigations involving Archaeological Trial Trenching (updated 17/05/2020), Utility Trial Trenching surveys (updated 17/05/2020), and Ground Penetrating Radar surveys (GPR).
Our priority is to carry out this programme of work in a way that will have the smallest possible impact on the nearby community and environment.
One way we are supporting local businesses, particularly SMEs, is through our partnership with the Supply Chain School, which offers free training for businesses in Kent, Thurrock and Essex.
The journey to the Lower Thames Crossing
A Department for Transport (DfT) study
Owing to increasing demand at the Dartford Crossing, the DfT looks at options for an additional crossing at five potential locations (A, B, C, D and E). The two furthest east (D and E) are ruled out as they are too far from the existing crossing. Rail is also ruled out.Read more
Named priority infrastructure project
The government recognises the need for a new crossing by naming it a top 40 priority project in its National Infrastructure Plan.Read more
DfT study into 3 options
The DfT commissioned a study to assess the 3 remaining location options.
DfT public consultation
The DfT carries out a public consultation to ask for views on the location of the proposed crossing.Read more
Response to 2013 consultation published
The response to the consultation confirms the need for a new crossing between Kent, Thurrock and Essex. Option B is ruled out; the remaining two locations (A and C) are investigated further.Read more
DfT asks Highways England to assess the economic, traffic, environmental and community impacts for locations A and C. Location C is recommended as it offers far greater economic benefits and congestion relief.Read more
A public consultation asks for feedback on proposals at location C, including three routes north of the river in Thurrock and Essex, and two south of the river in Kent.
Preferred Route Announcement
The Secretary of State for Transport announces the preferred route, a tunnel under the River Thames east of Gravesend and Tilbury (location C, route three with the Western Southern Link).Read more
Highways England holds a second public consultation.Have your say
Highways England holds a supplementary consultation.Have your say
Pre-examination of DCO application
You can register with the Planning Inspectorate as an interested party and make formal representations about the project. You will then be kept informed of progress and opportunities to be involved. The Planning Inspectorate will then examine our application.
Submission of DCO application
Subject to the outcome of the consultation, we will make our submission to the Planning Inspectorate, which will include feedback from the consultation. This is called the DCO application.Learn more
The Planning Inspectorate has 28 days to decide if the application meets the required standards to proceed, including whether our consultation has been adequate.
The Planning Inspectorate will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport within three months of the end of the examination period.
The Secretary of State then has three months to issue a decision. This will be followed by a public announcement.
If approved, construction could begin soon after.
Opening – 2027/2028*
The Lower Thames Crossing opens to traffic.
* We are using a date range of 2027 to 2028 to account for the natural uncertainty in developing a project of this size and scale. As we gather more information from consultation, our ground investigations and engagement with the supply chain, we will gain more certainty.