Pics: Highways Agency


Plans for a multi-billion pound road tunnel under the River Thames between Kent and Essex have been unveiled.

Highways England says it favours the project rather than a Thames bridge between Dartford and Thurrock.

A public consultation over the crossing started this week.   

The planned road would run from the M2 in Kent to the M25 in Essex, tunnelling under the Thames east of Gravesend and Tilbury. The tunnel would be two miles long and cost up to £6 billion.

Martin Potts, of Highways England said the route between Gravesend and Tilbury "provides double the economic benefits" of a crossing close to the existing routes between Dartford and Thurrock.

He said it would also be a "clear alternative route to the Dartford Crossing, reducing congestion and improving resilience of the road network".

"By choosing a tunnel rather than a bridge we can minimise the effects of the new road on the environment.

"There are important choices to be made. As well as inviting comments from the public about our recommendations, we have identified three routes for the new road to the north of the river and two routes south of the river."

Adam Holloway, Conservative MP for Gravesham, said Highways England had backed the wrong route. He told the BBC: "To me, if you want to solve the traffic jams at Dartford you have to solve the traffic jams at Dartford."

Story dated January 27th 2016