Last Day to Object to Option C – but Option A still on the table!

option a

The consultation on the proposed Lower Thames Crossing closes on 24th March. Please make sure you respond, even if you have signed a petition, it is usually better to have lots of individual responses to support the weight of opinion. For more information and to complete the consultation click HERE. The consultation is a series of questions, but there are spaces for comments. Below are the comments included in my own response which may be helpful. This is simply picking up on some salient points, but can be amended, added to or simplified as appropriate. I oppose Option C along with variant routes 2, 3 and 4 on the following grounds:

  • It would have a significant negative impact on biodiversity and destruction of ecological sites and conservation areas, along with listed buildings, and is therefore unacceptable.
  • It would devastate hundreds of acres of Green Belt as well as destroying a Fen, villages and a wildlife Hospital in Thurrock
  • It would destroy whole villages, ancient woodland, heritage sites and wildlife habitats. Once concreted over it will be gone forever.
  • The additional traffic would create significant increase in congestion in the Upminster & Cranham area
  • The increased level of traffic close to residential areas in Upminster and Cranham will lead to additional noise, environmental harm and lead to poorer air quality, thus affecting people’s health

My preferred option is an additional crossing (a bored tunnel) alongside the existing Crossing, as set out in Option A, on the following grounds:

  • In the previous consultation (2013) Option C received the highest number of objections (2,000+) while Option A received less than 200 objections
  • The Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick MacLoughlin, recently confirmed that Option A was still a viable alternative and had not been ruled out
  • The cost of Option A is £1.6billion compared with £4.3billion for Option C, this provides better value for money and a lower capital cost
  • Impact on Green Belt and the environment would be far less
  • Updating the Dartford crossing would be more economical, environmentally responsible and far less disruptive

In summary, the consultation process is fundamentally flawed as there is no mention or opportunity to give Option A as the preferred choice. I therefore do not support Option C for the reasons given above but would support a crossing (a bored tunnel) alongside the existing crossing as set out in Option A.

The full consultation document can be viewed here.

Cll Clarence Barrett on behalf of the Upminster & Cranham Residents’ Association




  1. Option A for me then!

  2. Option A for me please

  3. Option A is the only viable choice. Have filled in consultation questionaire listing objections to other routes.

  4. If the consultation process is fundamentally flawed there must be a statutory process that can be used to challenge it, rather than relying on people raising objections under the flawed process. Of course, we should all submit out objections and go for Option A (if we believe it is the best route), but alongside the objections is there any work going on to deal with the flawed consultation process itself?

    I am not sure of the exact process as Highways England (who are conducting the consultation) is not a government body, they only work with the Dept for Transport; but as its ultimately the DoT that would be authorising the work it must be something like judicial review. At the very least has anyone written to highways England Chief Executive raising concerns about the flawed process? What has the response been?

    Do we need to have a local fundraising effort to pay for appropriate legal help?

    • Hi Catherine, I understand there have been several representations about the consultation process. Thurrock (who will be very significantly affected by Option C) have been particularly active. I will find out the latest position.

      • Ok – it would be good to know if there is anything we can do in Upminster as a community to get the right result. Look how people got behind the parking charge changes, and it did have an impact on the outcome. A big drive on Facebook and local media to make sure that local people are aware that the deadline for the consultation is so close – i hadn’t appreciated that it was in 3 days time myself and I am pretty keen on keeping up to date on local issues. I have not even seen a post on the Upminster Community Facebook page which I know lots of the councillors post on fairly regularly, its free and reaches 1000s of Upminster residents in one click.

        I feel there needs to be a bit more “oomph” put into these things by those representing us – unless there is then the decision makers will continue to railroad us all. We all need to do our bit and take action but it is those representing us that need to coordinate the process and coordinate our individual efforts.

        Ideas: Post on local Facebook pages with a short explanation and some links to the consultation and clarence’s article; dome effectively drafted leaflets distributed at peak hour at Upminster station summarising the issue could be a good way to reach the many of the families in the town;

        regarding the content of any leaflets or Facebook ads, something short and clear with links to this article is needed, in particular making it very clear what Option A is (its a bit confusing to talk about option A as it is not referred to on any of the current official consultation maps – at first i was looking for it and had to the read the paperwork a few time to realise why – i.e. they have missed it off). If its not crystal clear, many people will not bother to keep reading.

  5. Information on Option A is contained in this booklet from 2014

    There is an image in that booklet (page 18) showing Option A.

    UCRA – is there any chance you can make option A clear to people – I am not sure how many people will be googling government consultation response papers from 2014 to find out for themselves.

    Is there any update on the objections to the process?

  6. Hi Catherine. An item on Lower Thames Crossing was on the front page of the March Residents Association Bulletin(out at the end of February) with the closing date of 24 March so we did use our publication to ensure people were encouraged to respond. In addition the public consultation meeting at Upminster school on 15 February was very well attended by several hundred people. I am not sure if we could have done much more to get people involved. A number of residents will have contacted individual councillors, I had several, and our advice was to object to Option C. We did favour option A in the consultation exercise that was done in 2013 as did the council and our position and that of the council is now confirmed.

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