Lower Thames Crossing: MP meets with Roads Minister to discuss Thurrock impact

Stephen Metcalfe, Member of Parliament for South Basildon and East Thurrock met with the Roads Minister, Guy Opperman, in Orsett village in Essex to discuss the impact that the proposed Lower Thames Crossing will have on the area and other villages in Thurrock.

The Minister listened carefully to Stephen’s concerns and agreed to consider the points raised. The proposed Lower Thames Crossing has recently completed the Development Consent Order Process (DCO) and now sits with the Department for Transport for a final decision.

Stephen pointed out that he had grave concerns that the proposal, if constructed, would not actually address the problem of congestion at the existing crossing and that we in Thurrock would still experience catastrophic gridlock when the Dartford Crossing failed.

Stephen also expressed concern that the cost of the project was getting ever higher, with the IPA Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline Report published in February 2024 stating that construction material prices are over 40% higher than in January 2020 (see Report below).

The Lower Thames Crossing has always been an expensive project, but with prices having risen recently, particularly in construction, Stephen questions whether the project can deliver value for money or whether the money would be better spent elsewhere.

The Minister explained that it is not he who would make the decision, as he is too close to the project, but did say that he would respond to the concerns in due course and thanked Stephen for raising his concerns so robustly.

The decision is due from the Department for Transport on 20 June and, whichever way it goes, Stephen has pledged to continue to work with all the parties involved to ensure that, if the proposal does go ahead, the disruption is minimised.


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