A multimodal river crossing between Canvey Island, Essex and the Medway Towns, Kent has been proposed by various groups.
With recent government pressure for development of the Thames Gateway region of Kent and Essex, the demand for the Lower Thames Crossing - originally floated as part of an outer M25 by the Conservative government in their Roads for Prosperity document - has increased.
Proposals to increase port capacity at Tilbury and Shellhaven have also spurred demand for a new Thames crossing to relieve Dartford.
More recent proposals are for a multi-modal crossing, i.e. one for both road and rail traffic. The road portion would be tolled in conjunction with the Dartford crossing, to manage demand across the two crossings.
The road would take cars and lorries probably between the A130 at Benfleet in Essex, and the A228 at Chattenden in Kent. Regeneration of Canvey Island might also require access to Canvey Island from the crossing.
A more westerly crossing was also proposed but the regeneration benefits would not be as significant.
A suspension bridge would probably be cheaper than a bored tunnel, although it would have greater environmental impact.
The railway would most likely be for freight from the Kent ports and the Channel Tunnel (coming off the Channel Tunnel Rail Link) to bypass South London's congested railways, particularly the South London Line and West London Line which are both the subject of desires for inner London orbital passenger services.
The crossing was considered as a prerequisite for the scrapped international airport at Cliffe.
The recent "Orbit" Multimodal Study into orbital journeys around London recommended further investigation into the Lower Thames Crossing. The more recent South East England Regional Assembly's POLYNET study also recommended "early completion" of the crossing.
No current news for this project.
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