The Government is now consulting on the route of a new Lower Thames Crossing connecting Essex and Kent. We urgently need the views of business so we can let the Government know your thoughts on the location for a new crossing.

Highways England is consulting on its proposed route – Route 3 indicated by the red line on the map running from the end of the M2, crossing the river just east of Gravesend and Tilbury and joining the M25 between junctions 29 and 30, through a bored tunnel.

It is very important to recognise that Highways England is also seeking views on the other possible routes as shown in the map below – two south of the river in Kent and three on the north side in Essex.


People can also give their views on Route 1 – another crossing at Dartford connecting with Thurrock.


Highways England has concluded that a new crossing at Dartford – bored tunnel or bridge – would be constrained by the existing junctions, roads and development and would be restricted to 50 mph. It was not taken forward due to a number of reasons:


  • “high cost, poor economic benefits, impact on development and commercial properties, significant disruption to river/jetty operations, high technical risks and potential impacts on sensitive environmental sites”.


Highways England has also stated that:


  • Another crossing at Dartford would not solve the traffic problem at Dartford and would do little for the economy locally, regionally or nationally.
  • Growth of traffic and development will increase congestion at the Dartford Crossing, and will worsen the flow of traffic on key approach roads such as the A2, M20, A13 and A127.


  • A new crossing east of Gravesend in its opening year in 2025 would carry 78,500 vehicles per day, and would reduce traffic at the Dartford Crossing by 14%.


  • The combination of the existing Dartford Crossing and a new crossing east of Gravesend would increase total capacity across the Thames by approximately 70%.


Highways England’s traffic modelling has concluded that:


  • Without a new crossing, traffic volumes at Dartford will increase to 159,300 per day by 2025 and 163,000 per day by 2041. Such growth is partly due to improvements introduced by Dart Charge and by the anticipated increase in regional traffic.


  • Analysis of these ‘without scheme’ results also shows that traffic demand at Dartford is being restricted, resulting in economic growth also being suppressed.

A new Lower Thames Crossing is a nationally important project, which has major local implications. This website seeks to outline what this decision could mean for businesses on both sides of the Thames, as well as for the country’s economy and international trade.


This website is designed – independently of Government – to outline the issues relating to the possible route as it is vital to get the right decision for the region, and the country as a whole.

It has been prepared by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, the business-led organisation that champions the economy of Kent, Essex, East Sussex, Medway, Thurrock and Southend.


The eight week consultation by Highways England to decide the preferred route is now live and you can give your view here – but please visit the rest of this site before giving your views.

Reducing congestion


Getting business moving


Keeping traffic flowing


Unlocking potential


Make your voice heard


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