Notes from Adam Holloway, Member of Parliament for Gravesham, on his meeting with the Secretary of State on Option C of the Lower Thames Crossing

“This is the note I gave to the Secretary of State for Transport when I met him on Thursday 5th September. I am very grateful to abridge2far and to Nigel Miller of M and M Estates for their help in composing it

Option C – Points for the Secretary of State
• The average number of vehicles using the crossing has dropped every year since 2005

• The people who say there’s a demand for the crossing are the same who said the Channel Tunnel would be at full capacity by now. It is currently at 44% capacity.

• 80% of the HGVs that come through Dover are foreign registered, therefore no payment for new roads, road upkeep or fuel plus unfair competition for UK registered haulage companies.

• HS1 is only at 30% of its track capacity. There is land at Thurrock adjacent to the HS1 line where a shuttle terminal could be built, so that shuttles could continue directly to Essex and the M25. This would reduce the amount of road vehicles travelling through Kent. EU funds should be available for this project as well.

• Is it really sensible to increase to 70% the amount of UK freight coming into a single port, Dover?

• The opening of the London Gateway Container Port on the North Thames, will take business away from the Isle of Grain, significantly reducing the number of commercial vehicles using the Crossing.

• When free flow tolling is introduced at Dartford in October 2014 it will significantly improve flow capacity at the current Crossing.

• ALL booths could be removed if you simply put an additional charge into the cost of ferry tickets for non-UK registered cars and commercial vehicles.

• Because of the very low level of the land, any tunnel would have to come out at Chalk because of the possibility of future water level rises. For the same reason if you went for a bridge, you’d need a long dyke leading up to the bridge. These have not been factored in, and will greatly increase the cost.

• Only a relatively small percentage of the vehicles currently using the existing crossing would use the new one, and this depends on the Variant Option being included (which increases the cost further.)

“Option C”
• Three times the cost of Option A.
• Unnecessary.
• Blight the homes of thousands of people – one local estate agent thought this could be at least £300 million in Gravesham alone

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