The CEO of National Highways has announced that a new Development Consent Order for the Lower Thames Crossing has been submitted.
Speaking at the major Highways UK event at Birmingham’s NEC, Nick Harris (pictured) told delegates in the keynote session that the scheme, which has been delayed over planning matters, is incredibly important for connectivity between Essex and Kent and nationally to link the channel ports with the rest of the country. He reiterated that the goal is to make the crossing one of the first large schemes that delivers carbon neutrality.
On environmental matters, Mr Harris referred to National Highways’ Net Zero plan published last year, calling it “an ambitious plan to achieve net zero carbon for ourselves, for our construction, and maintenance work.” He said that they have been “turning this plan into reality” saying “I am enormously proud of all of the work that I’ve seen so far, and the initiatives that we’re putting in place to make this become a reality, and I’ve seen some great initiatives around more recycling, road surface material, increasing use of electric vehicles and now we’re seeing the increasing use of low carbon materials. We do know that we’ve got a long way to go, but this matters and we have made a solid start.”
He said the last two years have been “pretty eventful” regarding Covid resilience keeping the country moving but pointed to new schemes he’s working on including the A303 improvements near Stonehenge and the A66 upgrade.
Mr Harris also talked about has delivered on smart motorway safety, saying “two years since the Transport Secretary published the smart motorways action plan, we’ve delivered a number of really important commitments including putting in stopped vehicle detection on all lane running sections”.
He concluded by talking about money saying, “We all have huge ambitions to support and help the economy grow, [and] there’s no better time to be making the case for investment in the sector now and into the future. We are truly world class… and quite rightly we should be very proud of everything we do.”
You will be able to hear some of the speech on the Highways Voices podcast from Highways UK, sponsored by Re-flow, Kier Highways, Causeway Technologies, Navtech Radar and SWARCO, published on Wednesday 2 November in the afternoon.
(Picture – Highways News)