The Freight Transport Association has welcomed the news that the consultation into a third Thames crossing will begin with the search for a solution to traffic queues at Dartford.
The statement comes in response to Stephen Hammond, parliamentary under secretary of state for transport, revealed three options for the third Thames crossing, on Tuesday 21 May at Dartford.
FTA said the need to ease congestion at the national artery routes is essential, and that the introduction of free-flow tolling in 2014 will help relieve queues at the tunnels.
But it stressed that new capacity and more efficient planning was needed to cope with traffic in the future, and that, with the average cost of £1 per minute for a 44 tonne truck, the cost of queuing should be taken into account.
“There is absolutely no doubt that improving capacity and easing congestion at Dartford is essential, said Malcolm Bingham, FTA’s head of road network management policy.
“There is a terrific opportunity here that must not be wasted, and strong leadership to decide what the best option is has to be paramount. FTA will help with determining what the right option is by consulting with its members on what the best crossing will be.”
*The three options for the future of the crossing are:
Option A: at the site of the existing A282 Dartford-Thurrock crossing
Option B: connecting the A2 Swanscombe Peninsula with the A1089
Option C: connecting the M2 with the A13 and the M25 between junctions 29 and 30