Friday’s traffic gridlock across Dartford was another reminder that the delay in naming the location of a new Thames Crossing is damaging our town. Labour in Dartford have always said that any new crossing needs to be built away from Dartford and we’ve campaigned strongly alongside residents to make the case to rule Dartford out now.
It’s extraordinary that in response to the recent traffic chaos, a local Conservative Councillor has now called for a new crossing to be built at Dartford. We don’t agree with his view and we think the vast majority of Dartford residents won’t agree either.
Building another crossing at Dartford is not the right solution to our traffic problems. It would just make the exisiting congestion and pollution even worse.
This was an issue where we felt we had achieved a degree of political consensus to keep another crossing away from Dartford – however, in recent months the position of the Conservatives appears to have changed. First, we had Dartford’s Conservative MP calling for the decision to be delayed - keeping the threat hanging over the town. Now we have the Conservative Mayor of London and at least one local Tory Councillor openly calling for another crossing at Dartford. We’ve got a big fight to win to make sure we keep the new crossing out of Dartford. The uncertain position of the Conservatives does nothing to help residents and businesses in Dartford caught in the gridlock.
The government can and should rule Dartford out now and get on with resolving this issue. Labour in Dartford will continue to stand up for residents and say no to another crossing in our town.