Proposed Lower Thames Crossing – Request for extension of consultation period
Upminster and Cranham Residents’ Association councillors recently contacted Highways England to request an extension to the current consultation period for the new Lower Thames Crossing. This was because the consultation, due to end on 08 September 2021, is being held during most of the school holiday period, when many people may be away and unable to review the extremely long set of documents.
However, Highways England have unfortunately declined to extend the consultation, giving the following response –
‘In developing our consultation programme we recognised the challenges of holding a consultation over the summer months as you identified. This is why, following local authority feedback, we extended the public consultation from six weeks to eight weeks (well above the prescribed 28-day period). Together with the three previous consultations, the LTC is now one of the most consulted road projects in the UK.
We are confident that this period is more than adequate to allow residents the opportunity to understand our proposals and give informed feedback on our plans. The team has strived to ensure this consultation is one of the most comprehensive and accessible, which includes 18 in-person events, six webinars, a telephone call back service, online material and interactive map and hard copies sent free of charge on request.
We have engaged with a vast number of residents so far. After five weeks of consultation, over 1,600 residents have attended in-person events and many more are accessing information online. We have received more than 2,000 feedback responses, which accounts for a higher response rate than the previous two consultations at this stage.
The general sentiment at events and in our discussions with the public is that the information provided has been welcome and has helped comprehensively answer their queries. With over two weeks left of the consultation, we are confident there is sufficient time for everyone to submit feedback and therefore will not be extending the consultation.
Following the consultation, we will of course continue to engage with local residents and stakeholders such as yourself as we review the feedback received.’
For further details of the consultation, including ways to submit a response, please see our previous LTC consultation post.