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Ministers whittle down Thames crossing shortlist

by Jim Dunton Thu 12 December 2013, 1:30 pm

The government is to put further work into proposals for a possible new Thames crossing linking the M2 near Rochester with Essex, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced.

The route is one of two options that will be progressed following a consultation launched earlier this year.

As Medway1 reported in May, the other two options were a new crossing near the current Dartford tunnel and bridge, and an alternative connection linking the A2 at the Swanscombe peninsula with the A1089 north of the Thames.

McLoughlin said this week that the A2-A1089 option - known as Option B - was being “discarded”, while greater scrutiny would be given to the other two potential routes.

“We had over 5,700 responses to the consultation and we have carefully considered each of them,” he said.

“Ruling out the least attractive option now gives some clarity for local residents and businesses.

“We are committed to making a decision on the location of the new crossing as soon as possible, but we recognise that whatever crossing location is chosen it will have significant impact for people in the area and the economy.”

The Department for Transport said consultation feedback had showed that Option B had limited support and would frustrate plans for development in the area.

It added that the further work proposed would look at the possible impacts on the local areas of the remaining options, consider improvements to the surrounding routes, and investigate ways that impact on the environment caused by any new crossing could be mitigated.

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