Third Crossing of the River Thames approved
UK government has given its green light to build a lower Thames crossing to improve journey times and traffic across the river, east of London. Highways England’s chief executive Jim O’Sullivan said that the crossing is expecting 4.5 million heavy goods vehicles in its first year, hence increasing the capacity for vehicles crossing the Thames by 70 per cent.
The new crossing will be linked to the road network by a new road north of the river, which will join the M25 between junctions 29 and 30, and a new road south of the river which, will join the A2 east of Gravesend. It will be delivered by Highways England with the hopes to decrease the pressure on the existing Dartford Crossing, which currently experiences around 55 million journeys per year. This represents six million more than what the crossing was designed for.
"the crossing is expecting 4.5 million heavy goods vehicles in its first year, hence increasing the capacity for vehicles crossing the Thames by 70 per cent."
This new 13-mile route will not only improve traffic, it will enable more than £8 billion of economic benefits and create some 6000 jobs. The announcement provided a boost to local businesses and hopes to hauliers, who wish to reduce journey times, money and fuel when heading towards or away from the all-important Channel ports.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) welcomed the project and urged the government to construct this third crossing over the Thames as quickly as possible. Natalie Chapman, FTA’s head of policy for London and the South East said: "“Congestion at the Dartford Crossing is predicted to reach pre-Dart Charge levels by 2020, while the Blackwall Tunnel has become a cause of impossible delays.The M2/M25 route is a vital cog in the country’s freight machine and it must continue to work as smoothly as possible, as we move towards leaving the European Union, to ensure British companies can trade without delays both domestically and internationally.”
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