Transport secretary Chris Grayling announced yesterday (12 April) that the Lower Thames Crossing will link the A2 and the M25, and is expected to carry 4.5 million heavy goods vehicles in its first year.
The new link will run from the M25 near North Ockendon, through the A13 at Orsett before crossing under the Thames east of Tilbury and Gravesend. A new link road will then take traffic to the A2 near Shorne, close to where the route becomes the M2.
“The new crossing will have a tremendously positive economic benefit,” says RHA chief executive Richard Burnett (pictured). “The project itself will provide thousands of jobs and will give a real boost to business across the South East.
“Hauliers are responsible for moving 85% of the UK economy,” he adds. “The new route will reduce journey times, especially for those heading towards or away from the all-important Channel ports. The congestion on the Dartford Crossing will also be reduced and the potential savings for operators in terms of time, money and fuel will be considerable.
“Our main concern is that the anticipated completion date will be 10 years from now. If traffic levels continue to increase at their current levels, the new crossing may be obsolete before it even opens.”
The route was favoured by the majority of 47,000 respondents to a public consultation.