Lower Thames Crossing position statement

2021 Community Impacts Consultation

National Highways (previously named Highways England) originally submitted a Development Consent Order (DCO) application to the Planning Inspectorate in October 2020. The Planning Inspectorate raised a number of concerns with the application which prompted Highways England to temporarily withdraw in order to undertake further work.

Since November 2020 National Highways have been completing further work, including  undertaking a further 8 week public consultation that ran from 14 July to 8 September 2021.

This consultation focused on the impacts of both construction and operation of the new crossing and design changes since the last consultation. There have been two main changes to the design since the design refinement consultation in 2020. These changes include a reduction of the overall development boundary from 22.9km² to 22.2km², and refined proposals for the utility diversions which will reduce the impact on local communities and the environment.

To view the full consultation visit National Highways’ website.

A Development Consent Order (DCO) application is expected to be resubmitted by National Highways in 2022. The Planning Inspectorate will then review the application and decide whether to recommend to the Secretary of State for Transport that permission is granted to National Highways to construct the scheme.

If National Highway’s DCO application is successful, construction is intended to start in 2024 and last a total of 6 years. The Lower Thames Crossing is expected to have an opening year of 2030.

Our position

Our response to the 2021 consultation remains in support of the project but sets out our concerns on several issues arising from the proposed crossing, including:

  • the impact of the scheme on the local and strategic highway network
  • the impact on existing road assets
  • the impact on the construction workforce
  • the impact on Shorne Woods Country Park
  • lack of environmental information.

Read our full 2021 response to the community impacts consultation for more details (PDF, 602.5 KB)