Why is the Lower Thames Crossing important?

The Lower Thames Crossing is the UK’s most ambitious roads project for more than 30 years and part of the largest investment in our strategic road network in a generation.

Lower Thames Crossing - Why is the Lower Thames Crossing important?

By almost doubling road capacity across the Thames east of London and easing congestion on the Dartford Crossing every year, the new road would improve journeys for millions of people every year.

It would also play a vital role in our nation’s economic recovery, connecting residents to jobs, and businesses to customers.

Leaving a lasting legacy

We understand that building a major piece of infrastructure will have an impact on those living nearby but we are committed to leaving a positive legacy.

  • Better access to existing jobs for Gravesham, Thurrock and Havering as improved journey times would bring over 400,000 more jobs within a 60-minute commute, when the new crossing is open for traffic.
  • 80% of the new road would now be in a cutting, false cutting or tunnel to reduce its visual impact.
  • Two new public parks would be created:
    – Chalk Park, a 38-hectare park near Gravesend
    – Tilbury Fields, a 48-hectare park overlooking the Thames in Thurrock.
  • We would remove the need for over 470,000 HGV movements on local roads by beneficially reusing excavated material in the parks.
  • We are replanting over 260 hectares of new woodland – six times more trees than the number lost. In addition, we’re creating a new 100-hectare community woodland in partnership with Forestry England, near Great Warley in Brentwood.
  • There would be 46km of new, realigned or improved footpaths, cycleways and bridleways.
  • Seven new green bridges would connect footpaths, bridleways and ecological habitats.
  • New and improved habitats for wildlife would include 120% more hedgerows, 40% more ponds and 10% more ditches.
  • Reduced congestion at the Dartford Crossing and approach roads would improve local air quality.

The Lower Thames Crossing would provide a number of other benefits to local communities, including:

  • supporting jobs for 22,000 people, including hundreds of apprentices and graduates during construction
  • bringing businesses closer to their customers and suppliers
  • upskilling local businesses with free training to give them the skills needed to work on this and other projects
  • working with local schools and colleges to inspire a new generation of engineers

Did you know?

We will explore new ways of building roads in a low carbon future. We will also enhance habitats for wildlife, increase biodiversity and improve air quality to leave the local community and environment better off than when we arrived.

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