Thames crossing to be longer and wider

10/10/2018
Chris Ames

The Lower Thames Crossing will now have three lanes in each direction and will nearly double road capacity across the river, Highways England has announced.

The government-owned company has launched a consultation on significantly revised plans for the 14.5 mile link from Gravesham in Kent to Thurrock in Essex via the UK’s longest road tunnel.

What the southern portal will look like

It described the scheme, now estimated to cost between £4.4bn and £6.2bn, as ‘the most ambitious road project since the M25 opened 30 years ago’.

At over 50 feet wide, the 2.4-mile tunnel between Gravesend and Tilbury will be the third largest bored tunnel in the world, Highways England said.

The revised proposals include:

  • Making the whole route a three-lane dual carriageway to improve traffic-flow;
  • A new rest and service area to the west of East Tilbury;
  • A new design for the Tilbury junction, removing the proposed Tilbury link road to reduce traffic on the local road network;
  • An improved junction with the A2.

Highways England said the new link is expected to reduce traffic at the Dartford Crossing by 22%, with 14 million fewer vehicles using it every year and northbound journey times almost halved.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘The Lower Thames Crossing will help transform journeys, create new business opportunities in Kent and Essex and unlock productivity across the UK.

‘It will also cut congestion at the Dartford Crossing and improve connectivity from our industrial heartland to our ports in the South East.’

Project director Tim Jones said: ‘For too long the Dartford Crossing has been the only way to get across the Thames east of London. It is a vital gateway, but carries more traffic than it was ever designed for and drivers there suffer from regular delays, severing communities and holding back economic growth.’

What the junction with the M25 in Essex will look like

Highways England said ‘numerous’ measures have been included to reduce the impact the new road will have on local communities, including:

  • Extending the tunnel so the tunnel entrance in Kent is 600 metres further south to reduce the visual impact and protect access to a community church;
  • Lowering road by five to six metres in places to reduce its visual impact;
  • Moving the road 80 metres further east where is passes Chadwell St Mary to increase the distance from residential properties.

However, Darren Shirley, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: ‘Building a road through protected countryside is not the right way to address the long standing problems of traffic, much of it lorries, through Kent and Essex.

‘A better, and less expensive, solution would be to expand port capacity north of the Thames, improve freight and passenger rail links across the river, and look at measures like distance-based lorry road user charging to better manage traffic.’

Highways jobs

Team Leader NRSWA & Traffic Management

Bedford Borough Council
£37,107 - £41,846 per annum
To Manage a team carrying out the Councils duties under the Traffic Management Act and the New Roads and Street Works Act. Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Strategic Director - Regeneration & Environment

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
Competitive Salary
As the Strategic Director of Regeneration & Environment, you’ll be part of the strategic corporate leadership team Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Senior/Principal Highway Network Management Officer

Bristol City Council
£30,746 - £37,107
These are exciting times in Bristol, as there is considerable investment in its transport and highway infrastructure in recent years City of Bristol
Recuriter: Bristol City Council

Head of Property, Planning and Public Protection

Powys County Council
Head of Service 2 £66,854 - £73,540 per annum
Powys County Council, open and enterprising Llandrindod Wells, Powys
Recuriter: Powys County Council

Senior Engineer

Wirral Borough Council
£30,756 to £33,136
No holding back. No excuses. Just change Wirral. Bring it on. Wirral, Merseyside
Recuriter: Wirral Borough Council

Chief Executive

Epping Forest District Council
up to £120k
A role with roots in our community. Epping, Essex
Recuriter: Epping Forest District Council

Housing Renewal Technical Officer

Torridge District Council
£21,074 — £26,470 per annum
Advice to private sector tenants, landlords, & owner-occupiers about housing disrepair & energy issues. Bideford, Devon
Recuriter: Torridge District Council

Principal Traffic Engineer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£34,106 - £37,107 - PO6/SCP 38
To provide project leadership on the design, implementation and project management on major traffic Engineering schemes. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Funeral Assistant

Brent Council
£28,356 - £30,108 p.a. inc. plus Standby Allowance
Salary range
Recuriter: Brent Council

Area Engineer

Camden London Borough Council
£31,836 to £36,931
Does a combination of outdoor and office based work appeal to you? Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Download your Highways App

Google App Apple App

Highways on Fridays

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Includes:

  • Interviews with Jesse Norman and Jim O'Sullivan
  • Michael Matheson on road safety in Scotland
  • Traffex Road Expo Scotland review
View the latest issue

Latest Video