Supplementary Consultation extended until 2nd April
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19 March 2020
Given the current situation with Coronavirus and the measures the Government has put in place we are providing an update on the Lower Thames Crossing supplementary consultation.
The Supplementary Consultation on the changes we have made to the project’s design since our 2018 Statutory Consultation, has been underway since 29 January. We are 7 weeks through the 8-week consultation period. We have completed more than 80% of our 22 events, with almost 4,000 people visiting 7 of the 8 Public Information Events (PIE), and 10 of the 13 Mobile Information Centres (MIC).
The current situation with Coronavirus is unprecedented and we have been giving careful consideration to how we support the Government’s efforts to curb the spread of the virus, protecting the public and our staff, while also continuing our vital work to maintain, operate and improve England’s strategic road network.
Following the Government’s updated guidance issued on Monday we took the decision to cancel our last PIE and our remaining 3 MICS. While we have carried out the majority of our events, we recognise that some people may have not yet had the opportunity to speak to the team at an event. We also understand that the attentions of people and organisations will have been focused elsewhere over the past few days.
We are therefore taking two measures to respond to those issues.
Firstly, we have taken the decision to extend the consultation until 23.59 on Thursday 2 April.
This is to give people additional time to complete their consultation response and to enable organisations to complete their governance processes, which may have been disrupted. Until that time people can continue to share their views:
- by submitting a paper response form to Freepost LTC CONSULTATION
- by emailing email@example.com
Secondly, we will be opening a public consultation telephone service (020 3787 4300) between 2pm and 8pm, on Monday 23 and Wednesday 25 March 2020.
This will be for members of the public who had planned to go to the remaining events the opportunity to speak to a member of the project team about the changes we are consulting on. We will publish details of how this will work later this week.
- All of our consultation materials are available on our consultation website
- Document deposit locations, which hold hard copies of all the materials, are closed
- Information points which hold the Guide to Consultation, Consultation Response Form and Freepost envelope, are closed
- We will also post out the Guide, Response Form and Freepost envelope on request by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling on 0300 123 5000
This is an unprecedented and unsettling time and we want to thank you for your patience as we seek to manage the inevitable disruption we are all facing and the important work that must continue. This means we are having to work in different ways and use alternative approaches.
The development of the Lower Thames Crossing and other infrastructure projects will play an important role as the country seeks to recover from the wide range of impacts we face. It is critical that we maintain the progress of our projects and keep the momentum of delivery.
Summary of changes
- We have revised the development boundary as a result of the design changes, proposed utility diversions and additional land required for environmental mitigation.
- We have developed a detailed set of proposals for maintaining, improving and upgrading the walking, cycling and horse-riding network in the vicinity of the project.
- As a result of our proposed design changes to the route, revised development boundary and utility diversions, we have set out our current understanding of how these affect the information that was presented in our 2018 Preliminary Environmental Information Report.
- The volume of utility diversions we are planning has increased. Therefore, we have progressed our plans to divert utilities in a way that is necessary to build the Lower Thames Crossing safely, protect existing supplies and enable future maintenance.
- We have progressed our plans for how we will build the scheme.
- We have updated elements of our traffic model as part of our ongoing work to prepare for our Development Consent Order application.
Key changes to the design of the road
Following feedback from our statutory consultation, we have looked at the junction configuration. We have provided more direct connectivity between Gravesend and the M2/A2 eastbound, and redesigned the Gravesend East junction and link roads to improve journey times.
We have moved the entrance 350 metres to the south to reduce the impact on the Thames Estuary and Marshes Ramsar site.
After further investigation and consideration of the feedback from statutory consultation, we have decided not to progress with the rest and service area. We have relocated the maintenance depot to existing Highways England facilities, which means the junction at Tilbury is no longer required.
We have moved the route approximately 60 metres north-east to avoid the need for major overhead cable diversion works.
We have redesigned some slip roads at the junction between the Lower Thames Crossing, A13, A1089 and A1013 to reduce the visual impact, move roads away from properties, and improve safety and connectivity at the junctions.
We have removed one lane southbound between the M25 and A13 junction to reduce the route’s impact, while still providing sufficient long-term vehicle capacity.
We have changed the structures over the Mardyke River, Golden Bridge Sewer and the Orsett Fen Sewer to reduce the visual impact and the volume of flood compensation needed. The route has moved approximately 200 metres south-west to reduce the work required to move an existing gas main. It also reduces the impact on a nearby landfill site.
We have redesigned the southbound link from the M25 to the Lower Thames Crossing to avoid demolition and reconstruction of the existing Ockendon Road bridge over the M25.