A general consultation has been launched by Highways England, but to ensure the business voice is heard South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP) has launched a business-focussed website to help local firms understand how the proposals may affect them.
Originally, three routes were proposed for the potential new crossing, with the one known as Option C – which would run from the end of the M2 in Kent, crossing the river just east of Gravesend and Tilbury and joining the M25 between junctions 29 and 30 – the subject of this consultation.
Geoff Miles, Kent chairman of the SE LEP, said: “It is vital that we get the broadest possible evidence from businesses about how the current Dartford crossing impacts on their day-to-day operations so we can present a strong case to Ministers and civil servants at Whitehall.
“A new crossing is vital to keeping traffic flowing between the two counties, supporting the growth of the ports along the Thames and English Channel, but also stimulating the economies of Kent, Essex, and the UK as a whole.”
Jo James, who represents business on the SE LEP board and is chief executive of Kent Invicta Chamber, added: “The Lower Thames Crossing is much more than just a new bridge or tunnel to relieve congestion.
“It represents a once in a generation opportunity to reinvigorate local development, create new jobs and stimulate investment by supporting nationally important industries.”
Visitors to www.new-thamescrossing.co.uk will be able to leave their views on the preferred route directly with Highways England via a link on the home page. The consultation will close on Thursday, 24th March, 2016.