DfT Lower Thames Crossing consultation

Images showing the projected development of Option C. To view a larger image (left) click on the image and when it has opened, (left) click on it again

 

Responses

Responses to Option C are posted below. For help or information contact us below

OptionC-Fig37

OptionC-Fig36

Responses to Consultation questions (suggestions only – please use your own words)

If you would like help filling in your response we can help you, we will even post a paper copy of the questionaire for you and pay the postage, contact us:

email north.ockendon@gmail.com

phone 07732 830596

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Q1. Do you agree that there is a strong case to increase road-based river crossing capacity in the Lower Thames area?

  • Disagree

i.            Further study and assessment is required after the free-flow tolling has been introduced and a sufficient period of time has elapsed to have enough data to provide for proper statistical analysis.

ii.            Methods to discourage road use and utilise other transportation such as rail and water should be encouraged that are less environmentally damaging.

iii.             Continuous development of the road network is unsustainable and encourages increased vehicle use and continues the cycle of development -> increased road use ->congestion.

iv.            The consultation document is based on analysis dated to 2009 and does not reflect current trends.

Q2. Which of the following location options for a new crossing do you prefer?

  • Option A: at the site of the existing A282 Dartford-Thurrock crossing.

Q3. Please indicate how important the following factors were in influencing your preference for the location of a new crossing, in answer to Q2. Please mark whether they were very important, important or not important.

  • Forecast contributions to the national economy.
    • Very important

i.            Option C has a negative Cost Benefit Ratio over a projection of 60 years

ii.            Option C has the greatest costs

iii.            Option C is likely to have a high impact of food producing arable land. Food costs are rising considerably.

  • Forecast reductions in congestion at the existing Dartford-Thurrock crossing and forecast improvements to the resilience of the surrounding road network.
    • Not important

i.            See answers to Q1. Above

ii.            Existing crossing operating at 75% capacity.

iii.            All options lead to an increase in the predicted accidents (and therefore deaths). Option C predicts an increase of around 62,000 more accidents. This is an unacceptable increase.

  • Forecast reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Very important

i.            Increases road capacity will increase road use and ultimately increase greenhouse gas emissions – see answers to Q1. Above

ii.            Option C reduces the amount of CO2 absorbing capacity.

iii.            Wider global targets on greenhouse gas emissions will not be meet by the increased and continuing use of fossil fuels. The predictions in the consultation are based use of fossil fuels over the next 60 years. Further measures to stop the use of fossil fuels will have to be made well within this time period.

iv.            Predictions over 60 years are of dubious value.

  • Smaller forecast adverse impacts on environmentally sensitive areas and large forecast improvements in quality of life relative to other location options.
    • THE WORDING OF THIS QUESTION MEANS IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO GIVE A RATING OF VERY IMPORTANT, NOT IMPORTANT AND IS VERY MISLEADING

i.            Option C forecast very large adverse impacts on environmentally sensitive areas.

  • The distribution of forecast impacts on people within a range of different income groups
    • Very Important
    • Forecast value for money
      • Very important

i.            All options have a negative BCR options C an A having the worse.

ii.            The negativity of the indicative BCR with wider impacts appears to be grossly under-calculated.

iii.            Estimates of cost are notoriously difficult and especially so with large construction projects.[1] Actual costs are likely to be much higher, especially for option C.

iv.            None of the options have planning detail, and as the choice of bridge or tunnel has not been decided major differences between the estimates in the consultation document and from the detailed planning must be expected.

  • Other
    • Very Important

i.            Forecasts and estimates are based statistics gathered from 2001 to 2009 and are out-of-date not taking account of changing vehicle use due to escalating fuel and motoring costs.

ii.            It is impossible to forecast accurately over 60 years.

iii.            Insufficient impact assessment on the environment (especially on green belt and conservation areas Option C).

iv.            No account appears to have been taken of predicted tidal flooding due to climate change over the forecast period in the consultation[2]

v.            Estimates for increase road use seem significantly greater than population growth estimates.

Q4a. Is your preference for the location of a new crossing in answer to Q2, conditional on whether a bridge, bored tunnel, or immersed tunnel is provided?

No

Q4b. If yes, please indicate which type of crossing you would prefer.

N/A

Q5. Do you wish to add any further comments?

i.            Option C severely affects several thousand people and there is large spread opposition to it from those effected and the greater community who are opposed to development on green belt land.

ii.            Option C is a major reduction of the first tracks of green belt land outside London to the East (the lungs of London), erosion of this green belt land will inevitably lead to a further erosion of the green belt on both sides of the development.

iii.            None of the options are desirable. Building additional road networks are short term solutions that ultimately lead to greater vehicle use.

iv.            Infrastructure development should be targeted at the North of England where there is higher unemployment, under-utilised brown field sites, and disproportionate poverty. Major developments should be discouraged and larger companies should be encouraged to relocate to the North of England to ease the congestion in the South.

v.            The current crossing at Dartford is 4 lanes wide in both directions. The M25 is being expanded to 4 lanes. Increasing the number of crossings therefore will only move the points of congestion as all options connect to the M25. Removing the tolls will make the whole of the M25 free-flowing 4 lanes.

vi.            Reducing speed limits will increase overall flow rates

vii.            Encourage use of the M25 at non-peak times with financial incentives would be cheaper and more effective.

viii.            Increased real-time information as to current and predicted congestion and road use would modify usage patterns and ease congestion without the huge costs of extra development.

ix.            Eurotunnel freight is only running at 43% capacity due to overcharging according to the EC who have demanded a reduction as freight is being deterred. Subsidising freight onto the rail network and through the tunnel could greatly relieve HGV traffic at the Dartford Crossing, the M25 and routes to and from Dover.

                       i.            Freight travels through the tunnel at @140km/hour taking approximately 35 minutes.

ii.            Ferries from Dover take approximately 75 minutes and are much more affected by adverse weather conditions.

iii.            Eurotunnel is 10KM closer to London.

iv.            The Eurotunnel runs services every 10 minutes at peak times.

v.            The Eurotunnel connects with the M20 and onto the M25, Rail freight is more environmentally friendly than ferries.

vi.            Road connections to the south, north an centre of France are good on the French side of the channel.

vii.            Why would you encourage more traffic on to the A2 requiring extensive road building when for a far smaller amount of money you could encourage traffic through the Tunnel and away from Dover?


[1] OVER BUDGET, OVER TIME, OVER AND OVER AGAIN MANAGING MAJOR PROJECTS  Bent Flyvbjerg

Changes to the Policy on Funding Major Projects Department of Transport 2006

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable Taleb, N. N.(2007).

[2] Thames Basin Vulnerability Report Technical Summary 2008 WWF/HSBC

Nice Place to Meet New People

On way to the Radio Essex Lower Thames Crossing, set off with plenty of time. Or so it was thought. Two minutes down the road and we gradually grind to a halt as an ambulance screams past. And that was it. That is where I was to stay for the next hour and a half. We all switched off our engines thanked the day for the sunshine and chatted with our new-found if temporary, neighbours. I did eventually get to the debate (Dartford Hilton Hotel) to see the procession of cars pulling out of the car park at the end of the debate. Inside I managed to get the ear of a few local Dartford Councillors a bit delusional that a crossing “somewhere else” would somehow ease their woes. Met Richard Knox-Johnston of CPRE Kent, nice chap. Shared very similar views. Image
m25
Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price lobby’s Secretary of State for Transport over Thames Crossings
I’ll be urging Jackie to work hard to oppose all options, but especially option C

See Jackie’s write-up on what happened here.

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3 thoughts on “DfT Lower Thames Crossing consultation

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