Three new routes into London that could ease congestion around Dartford have been outlined by the government, bbc.co.uk reports.
The scheme, which could cost up to £5 billion, will see either a new bridge or tunnel built at the Lower Thames area to help alleviate the notorious traffic bottleneck at the Dartford Crossing.
A decision is set to be reached over the coming months on which of the three solutions put forward – all of which involve a four-lane bridge or road tunnel – would end up becoming a reality. It would then go into production with a view to ease the 20 per cent increase in traffic headed to London’s event venues, conference halls and tourist attractions over the coming three decades.
The simplest outcome would be Option A, which simply involves expanding the current A282 river crossing between Thurrock and Dartford. It would also be the cheapest at £1.5 billion.
Option B, meanwhile would involve connecting the A2 with the A1089 further down the Thames at Tilbury.
Option C is the most ambitious of the three but also deemed to be the best for local businesses and the economy. Critics, however, have claimed it would negatively impact the lives of less well-off people living around the proposed area. It is also the most expensive.
This option would see the M2 connected with the A13 and M25 between junctions 29 – 30, which would widen the A229 between the M2 and M20 whilst also offering the biggest cut in greenhouse gas emissions.
Commenting on the proposals, roads minister Stephen Hammond told standard.co.uk: “With traffic levels expected to increase by a fifth over the next 30 years, it is vital we take action now on the future of a new Lower Thames crossing to make sure that our road network is able to meet the future economic needs of the country.”