It may be a decade until the Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) comes to fruition but an ambitious bid to build a state-of-the-art tram system connecting north Kent and Essex remains on track. The proposed £600 million KenEx Thames Transit aims to combat congestion and air pollution on both sides of the Thames and serve major developments like Ebbsfleet Garden City and The London Resort.
Designer Gordon Pratt, an financial accountant, has in the past week been making what he hopes will prove to be some positive steps towards it becoming a reality. He said:
“We are progressing. We have had meetings with local authorities on both sides of the river and a site visit to the Swanscombe Peninsula. We have also had a meeting with a potential commercial sponsor so we are on the right track at the moment.”
KenEx, which would run under the Thames from Grays into Kent, would be wholly commercially funded and carry an estimated 58 million journeys to Bluewater annually, 36m to The London Resort, 53m to Lakeside and 2.5m to Ebbsfleet International.
The multi-billion pound LTC, meanwhile, promises to improve vehicle capacity for vehicles heading over the Thames east of London by 70%, but drilling in the Gravesham countryside only began a few weeks ago and the crossing is unlikely to come to fruition before 2026.
Should funding and planning permission be secured for KenEx, the team behind it believe it could arrive far sooner.by