Lower Thames Crossing doomed to fail even on its own terms, says Green MEP
Responding to the news that the Government has approved ‘Option C’ for a new Lower Thames Crossing from Kent to Essex, Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP for the South East and a member of the European Parliament’s Transport Committee, said:
This damaging decision is symptomatic of the Conservative government’s antiquated approach to transport planning. The new Lower Thames Crossing is doomed to fail even on its own terms; inducing, not reducing, the traffic and pollution on our streets and in our towns. The government’s own figures reveal the proposal will put at least an extra 55,000 vehicles a day on the county’s roads .
The project turns a blind eye to climate change, ignores a toxic air quality crisis responsible for more than 700 preventable deaths every year in Kent alone , and rides roughshod over local communities. Neverending road building projects simply will not deliver the integrated and effective solutions people actually need or want.
The estimated £6 billion which has been earmarked for the new crossing should be redirected towards innovative and truly sustainable twenty-first-century alternatives, including moving freight from roads onto rail, seas, and waterways.
We also urgently need investment in sustainable public transport options, directed by local communities, to reduce traffic and markedly improve the quality of life of residents in Kent and beyond.
 Highways England claims the crossing would take 77,000 vehicles a day by 2025 and reduce traffic on the Dartford Crossing to around 138,000 vehicles a day; 100% capacity. Currently, the Dartford Crossing carries around 160,000 vehicles a day; the plan, therefore, sees an extra 55,000 cars on our roads in Kent by 2025. A recent study, backed by the CPRE, looked into the ‘traffic inducement‘ effect of road building.by