It’s good news that the new Lower Thames Crossing won’t be in Dartford – but we need urgent action right now to tackle our growing traffic gridlock.
The news that the government have finally recommended that Dartford should not be the location of the new Lower Thames Crossing is rare relief for everyone impacted by the pollution and congestion at the existing crossing. It’s also a victory for residents who kept up the campaign against a new crossing in Dartford over several years.
It’s taken far too long for the government to make this decision. Almost 2 ½ years after the start of the consultation on a new crossing and a year after local people were promised a decision would be made, it’s unacceptable that residents and businesses have had to put up with this uncertainty for so long.
Leader of Dartford Labour Cllr Jonathon Hawkes commented;
“Building a new crossing away from Dartford is a step in the right direction. However, all the while the government have been dithering over this decision the problems at the existing crossing have got much worse and traffic gridlock is now a regular occurrence. With the new crossing not due to open for at least a decade, Dartford needs action right now to get our town moving again.
So while the news about the crossing is welcome, Dartford can’t afford complacency from the council or the MP. We desperately need a new traffic plan for Dartford to tackle to congestion and pollution we are living with right now. However, with a 37% cut in the Department of Transport budget and Kent County Council finances being slashed by £46m, there are real concerns that traffic chaos in Dartford is going to get worse under the Conservatives.”