Lower Thames Crossing

Department for Transport written question – answered on 2nd October 2019.

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Photo of Tracey Crouch Tracey Crouch Conservative, Chatham and Aylesford

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the lower Thames crossing project on the (a) M2 Junction 3, (b) A229 and (c) road infrastructure in Chatham & Aylesford constituency.

Photo of George Freeman George Freeman Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The Lower Thames Crossing statutory consultation was carried out in 2018 and outlined the forecast traffic impacts on the wider road network as a result of the scheme. The traffic flows use a measure called the passenger car unit (PCU) and a car equates to 1 PCU. A heavy goods vehicle is 2.5 PCUs as it uses more road space than a car. The traffic modelling showed that:

  • At M2 junction 3, traffic flows are forecast to increase between 101 and 500 Passenger Car Units (PCUs) per hour on the majority of approaches and the junction, in both the morning (07:00 – 08:00) and ​​evening peak periods (17:00 – 18:00);
  • On the A229, traffic flows are forecast to increase between 101 and 500 PCUs per hour northbound in morning peak period (07:00 – 08:00), and in both directions in the ​evening peak period (17:00 – 18:00); and
  • On roads within the Chatham and Aylesford constituency; a range of impacts are forecast, including a reduction in traffic flows on the M20 and an increase on the M2. However, the majority of roads within the constituency are forecast to see a​ ​small change in flow of between -99 PCUs and +100 PCUs per hour in both peak periods.

Any impacts on the Strategic Road Network and wider road network will be considered during development of the Lower Thames Crossing project and in the context of long term investment planning in the Strategic Road Network. Highways England is continuing to work with Kent County Council and all other impacted local highway authorities as it continues to develop the design of the Lower Thames Crossing.

Following its 2018 statutory consultation, Highways England is considering all of the responses it received and any changes to the scheme will be assessed in an updated version of the traffic model, and presented as part of the Lower Thames Crossing planning application (Development Consent Order).

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