Lower Thames Crossing – preferred route announced

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has announced the preferred route for a new Lower Thames Crossing, which he said could create more than 6,000 jobs and boost the economy by more than £8 billion.

The crossing will create a new link between the A2 and the M25. It is expected to reduce the burden on the Dartford Crossing and carry 4.5 million heavy goods vehicles in its first year.

The planned route will run from the M25 near North Ockendon, cross the A13 at Orsett before crossing under the Thames east of Tilbury and Gravesend. The government said a new link road would then take traffic to the A2 near Shorne, near to where the route becomes the M2.

A consultation on options for the route saw most of the 47,000 respondents identify this route as the best solution for reducing traffic and congestion on the Dartford Crossing as well as improving links to London and the Channel ports, according to the government.

Another £10 million will be used to improve traffic flow at and around the existing crossing as well as studying ways to further tackle congestion.

The Government also announced that the government is investing £66 million in widening the A13 Stanford-le-Hope bypass from two to three lanes. This should create more than 4,000 jobs and unlock the development of hundreds of new houses, he said.