ABRIDGE2FAR URGES MINISTER TO INVESTIGATE 170% INCREASE IN COSTS FOR A BRIDGE AT DARTFORD

Abridge2far has written to Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, demanding that the Government urgently investigates the staggering 170% increase in the cost of an extra bridge at Dartford, and the mysterious doubling of ‘value for money’ claimed for the crossing east of Gravesend.
During the previous consultation in 2013, the cost of a bridge at Dartford was estimated to be £1.25 billion, just 40% of the cost of a tunnel east of Gravesend. In the latest consultation documents, the cost has been increased by 170% to £3.4 billion.
We are now expected to believe that the cost of a single bridge at Dartford requiring minimal alterations to the existing infrastructure, would now cost almost as much as two 3km long tunnels east of Gravesend, plus a 25km dual carriageway and 3 complex motorway junctions.
At the same time, the value for money measure for the crossing east of Gravesend, which was inferior to Dartford during the previous consultation, has now mysteriously been doubled, making the Gravesend option more attractive than Dartford.
There is a growing belief that Highways England is in fact ‘engineering’ the data in this current consultation in order to support their preferred proposal, just as there is a widespread belief that Highways England is deliberately engineering the traffic delays on the approaches to the Dartford

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  1. Ben says:

    This to me is the biggest weakness of the case for Option C. If Highways England now believe Option C to be the best option and worth the environmental damage, it needs to explain why the figures supporting that are so very different to the earlier consultation, and, if the BCR analysis can change so much in only a few years, why we should trust the new numbers over the old ones.

    One other omission that would be worth investigating (FOI request maybe?) is the fact that the Scheme Assessment Report that has been released as part of the consultation documents makes multiple references to a more in-depth Technical Appraisal Report but this has not been provided on the consultation website.

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