The latest consultation for the Lower Thames Crossing was launched on 12th May 2022 and it has highlighted some interesting changes to the plans.
The £8.2bn Lower Thames Crossing will link Kent and Essex with a 14-mile tunnel under the River Thames.
The new planned route for the road will cause an estimated five million tonnes of carbon dioxide over a 60-year period. In turn, designers have proposed using swathes of farmland to soak up pollution.
Two areas of land totalling approximately 111 acres have been identified in Thurrock, Essex, to mitigate nitrogen from exhaust fumes.
Mark Bottomley, from the project, said: “If possible, these areas would be made accessible to the public.” We cannot wait to go for a walk in 2030 to enjoy taking in all those car fumes!
National Highways said land had already been earmarked in Thurrock and Kent which will become wildlife habitats, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said. But due to the recent changes, it now need additional land to tackle pollution, located to the south of the A13 in Southfields.
the development consent order will be submitted later this year
There has not been any further land earmarked in Kent for tackling pollution, so the people of Kent will just have to ‘suck it up’. Literally!
The only proposed changes on the Kent side include more public open space to the east of the tunnel entrance in Gravesham, connected to Chalk Park – the proposed new public park overlooking the Thames. There are also plans for better bridleway connections around the A2 junction and the A226 in Gravesham.
Mr Bottomley, development director for Lower Thames Crossing, said “As part of our efforts to address the impacts of the Lower Thames Crossing on the environment we’re proposing to provide around 617 acres for new wildlife habitats across four sites near to the route of the proposed new road.”
So this isn’t land set aside for wildlife, it is land set aside to deal with the extra carbon dioxide. Those poor animals will enjoy getting all that carbon dioxide on a daily basis!
As one person put it ‘Mmm, those fume soaked fruits an vegetables sound so appetising!’
But looking at this project from a different angle, the Lower Thames Crossing is not expected to be ready until 2030 and the UK Government wants us all to be driving electric vehicles by 2040. So do we really need to be looking at emissions over the next 60 years until 2090, or is someone not telling us the truth?
The consultation on the new plans ends on 20 June 2022 and you can have ‘your say’ here.