HIGHAM PARISH COUNCIL
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News on the Lower Thames Crossing (LTC)
See Updates 1 to 5 with the very earliest information ...
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LOWER THAMES CROSSING
Thanks to everyone who completed the questionnaire.
See a copy of our formal Parish Council response.
(Formats: PDF | Word )
>> Link to the Radio Kent debate on Lower Thames Crossing.
>> See photographs of the Public Meeting with
Highways England, Saturday 12th March 2016.
Also see the Q&A Session videos
Part One | Part Two | Part Three
Download and print our NO to Option C poster
(Formats: Word | PDF | JPEG | GIF )
Protest Letter to Secretary of State for Transport.
(Download letter in PDF | Word | plain text )
Below: Higham villagers turned out on Saturday 13th February 2016 to demonstrate against Option C
whilst BBC South East Today reporter Fiona Irving interviewed Cllr Harold Craske.
Web Update 34 - Marling Cross Site Compound to be Used by Highways England
[ 31 March 2019 ]
Highways England (HE) have notified Higham PC that the Lower Thames Crossing project is planning to put up a fence on part of the Marling Cross site. This site (usually a lorry park), which has been squatted by travellers in the past, is located close to the Hever Court Road/Valley Drive junction, and opposite Nell's Cafe.
A new fence around the Marling Cross site
HE will start putting up the fence at this location from early April 2019. It will be 2 metres high and cover the entire boundary of the site. HE expect to complete the fencing by the end of April.
Installing the new fence will help secure it and is a first step to getting this site ready, as it is intended to use it as a base for ground investigation work for the Lower Thames Crossing.
Ground investigation work from our Marling Cross site
These ground investigations will help HE better understand the geology of the area and will be vital in reducing the impact on the environment and wildlife around us. Knowing the ground conditions is also critical to developing the design for structures and construction methods – including the type of machine used to bore the tunnels.
HE anticipate starting to use the Marling Cross site from the early summer and aim to complete ground investigation works within one year.
HE work closely with council officers on sorting out the details of the use of this site – including its use for storing equipment, setting up temporary offices, welfare facilities and parking for staff. As soon as this information is available HE will be in touch again with further details.
Informing the community
As vehicle movements will be low, HE anticipate construction of the fence to be straightforward and won’t need to close any roads. HE do not anticipate there will be significant disruption to the local community. However, they are writing to the site’s closest neighbours.
To be clear, this work is not the start of building the Lower Thames Crossing. HE can only start building the LTC after they have submitted a Development Consent Order (a type of planning application) and the Government grants consent – neither of which has happened yet.
Web Update 33 - More Updates from Highways England
[ 11 February 2019 ]
A. Highways England (HE) have notified us that as part of their ongoing survey work, Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) surveys for the Lower Thames Crossing are due to begin from today until late April 2019.
They will take place across the whole route starting from the south and working north. The surveys are non-intrusive and will mainly take place on private land, Monday – Friday from 9am until 5pm.
ALC involves looking at natural and largely undisturbed soils at the ground surface and up to a maximum depth of 1.2m. You may see the surveyors, working in pairs, walking around agricultural land and woodland, in and around open spaces and urban areas to carry out the soil surveys. They will be wearing orange personal protective equipment (PPE) and will be using hand-held implements to take samples and will not be using any machines.
B. 'INSIDE OUT', BBC SOUTH EAST, 7.30pm MONDAY 11th FEBRUARY 2019 will show an article on the Lower Thames Crossing.
Roger Slade and Laura Blake from Thurrock's Thames Crossing Group have been interviewed, as has Bob Lane from Abridge2far. All the main concerns have been aired, but how much ends up on the cutting room floor remains to be seen (or not).
For those who do not receive BBC South East, it will be aired later on their website at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0071ms1/episodes/player
Web Update 32 - Latest Information from Highways England
[ 5 February 2019 ]
THE CONSULTATION COMPLETED AT THE END OF LAST YEAR RECEIVED 28,000 RESPONSES.
HIGHWAYS ENGLAND (HE) are preparing the planning application and are engaging with the market for the next stage by issuing a Prior Information Notice (PIN). The PIN informs potential suppliers that HE intend to purchase goods or services in the future and provides them with the opportunity to prepare to bid for contracts with if and when HE put work out to tender.
HE started an engagement process in 2018 to identify suppliers who are interested in working on the Lower Thames Crossing project for the tunnels and roads elements of the scheme. They are now also looking specifically at market interest in the archaeological and enabling works and information technology services. This also marks the start of an updated market engagement process relating to the tunnels and roads, which will help local, regional and national businesses with an early opportunity to plan for contract tendering processes.
Although the PIN covers all contracts for consultation, each element listed will be procured separately with independent and separate procurements. It covers a wide range of services, including:
— design consultancy,
— early and enabling works,
— logistics including road and river transportation of materials and disposal,
— mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, controls, and automation (MEICA),
— protection and mitigation works to third-party infrastructure,
— provision of tunnel boring machines,
— materials and equipment supply; and,
— other specialist works/services related to roads/tunnels construction activities.
The issuing of the PIN does not commit HE to carrying out any work or issuing any contracts. Engaging with the market at this early stage is standard practice for a project of the size and scale of the Lower Thames Crossing.
Web Update 31 - LTC Consultation - A Handy Guide
[ 12 November 2018 ]
A guide has been produced to help people on our Kent side of the River Thames complete the Highways England consultation questionnaire. The guide is purely to help make sense of the questionnaire, to try to explain what each question refers to, and to highlight some of the aspects that people might want to consider when answering the questions.
The guide makes it clear that this is not an organised campaign response. It does not provide any responses. The guide points out that respondents can support or oppose the Lower Thames Crossing, or comment on various aspects of it as they see fit. The consultation is open until 20 December 2018.
The guide is also published on the Lower Thames Crossing Association's website https://ltca.org.uk/2018guide
** Consultation now CLOSED **
¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬
Reminder ~ Lower Thames Crossing - Highways England Information Session - at The Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend on Wednesday 21 November,
from 2pm to 9pm. Highways England experts will be there to answer your questions.
Web Update 30 - Lower Higham Road CLOSURE EXTENSION,
6 - 13 November
[ 24 October & 10 November 2018 ]
As part of the Lower Thames Crossing survey work contractors have suspended access to part of the Lower Higham Road (between Castle Lane and Church Lane), between 6am on Tuesday 6 November 2018 and 6am on Tuesday 13 November 2018. Access to properties on the Lower Higham Road will be maintained, however traffic will need to divert around the works during these four days.
The works are to install a temporary pipe under the Lower Higham Road, which will permit checks on the water levels of the Marshes Ramsar site. An official road suspension Notice by Kent County Council will appear in the local press.
A letter with more information is being sent to affected local residents.
Web Update 29 - Statutory Consultation: Some Questions to Consider
[ 19 October 2018 ]
The Lower Thames Crossing Association # has been looking at all the documents produced by Highways England for the current consultation.
The members met on Thursday 18 October 2018 and produced a "long list" of concerns and they have attempted to prioritize these into a short list for discussion with Highways England and Kent County Council.
Some examples of the topics discussed are as follows (in no particular order):
• Protection from noise, air and light pollution e.g. through tree planting
• Minimizing traffic rat-runs on minor roads, locally and further afield
• The potential for conflicting flows of east/west traffic on the new access road between Shorne and Gravesend
• Can the tunnels be extended further south?
• The narrowness of the proposed green bridges e.g. Thong Lane
• The lack of a dedicated east bound slip road on the north side of the A2 from Marling Cross. Could one be created?
• The need for a fit-for-purpose north/south M20/M2 route to minimise impact on A227/A228/A229
• Electricity pylon relocation. Are they near your property?
You may want to consider how these issues will affect you when talking to Highways England at their Information Events and when you complete your consultation response - we suggest you do not rush to complete this as further information will be shared by the Association and Higham Parish Council as we all continue to work our way through the documentation. See the LTCA press release.
A list of the Highways England Information Events can be found here.
(# -- Higham Parish Council is a member of LTCA and fully supports its aims.)
Web Update 28 - Statutory Consultation Launched
[ 10 October 2018 ]
Highways England (HE) have now launched the consultation – this will last for 10 weeks (closing on 20th December 2018.)
The documentation to support the consultation is available on line:-
There will be a series of Public Consultation events – details of the Kent locations are listed below.
In addition, a mobile HE information van will visit 30 local communities in Kent and Essex to help people understand more about the proposals and put any questions directly to the project team.
More details will be added here on our website and the Higham PC Facebook page – or contact us if you would like to be added to our Lower Thames Crossing Mailing List,
email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07480 518493.
Saturday 20 October,
from 9am to 9pm,
Sunday 21 October,
from 11am to 5pm
Chalk Parish Hall,
||Monday 22 October,
Mick Jagger Centre,
||Tuesday 23 October,
from 2pm to 9pm
Cascades Leisure Centre,
||Thursday 1 November,
from 2pm to 9pm
Shorne Village Hall,
16 The Street,
||Saturday 3 November,
from midday to 6pm
Higham Library Car Park,
8 Forge Lane,
||Friday, 9th November
from 10am – 3pm
Higham Train Station
||Friday, 9th November
from 4pm – 7pm
Gravesham Civic Centre,
Windmill Street, Gravesend,
||Wednesday 21 November,
from 2pm to 9pm
Dover Town Hall,
||Tuesday 4 December, from
2pm to 9pm
||Wednesday 5 December,
from 2pm to 9pm
Web Update 27 - The current position from Highways England
[ 21 September 2018 ]
Highways England (HE) are still planning the statutory consultation for later this year – this will include an updated design of the scheme.
HE have continued to work on the design of the project to ensure that they take the best possible design to consultation. The consultation will provide a wide range of information including visual materials to help people understand their proposals, including maps, photography and a fly-through of the project.
There will be a number of events to provide people with information to understand and respond to the proposals.
The start date for the consultation is not yet finalised.
Higham Parish Council will publicise the dates and venues on our website and Facebook page – or contact us if you would like to be added to our Lower Thames Crossing Mailing List (email email@example.com or text 07480 518493).
Web Update 26 - LTC Route Boundary Changes Announced
[ 13 July 2018 ]
Highways England (HE) have just written to homeowners and land owners who may be directly affected by the proposed Lower Thames Crossing to inform them about the latest changes to the development boundary.
The main reasons for the changes are:
• Environmental mitigation
• Flood compensation
• Utility diversions
The revised boundary is available to view online:
https://tinyurl.com/ydf5zyn8 ( detailed mapping )
https://highwaysengland.co.uk/lower-thames-crossing-in-my-area/ ( general LTC information )
The design of the Lower Thames Crossing will continue to evolve and the boundary will change further. There will be statutory consultation later this year.
HE will continue to communicate with homeowners and affected communities about any new information that they need to know.
>>> Read more details and background information .
Web Update 25 - Aerial Surveys of the LTC Route
[ 6 June 2018 ]
Aerial LiDAR (Light, Detection & Ranging) Surveys are planned to start during week commencing Monday 11th June 2018. This will involve a helicopter flying over local areas for three days along the proposed LTC route corridor – this will include areas outside of the development line boundary. The aerial surveys are required to provide information which will help with the development of the detailed route design. The helicopter will be flying approximately 260m above the ground at a speed of approximately 60kts (69mph) whilst capturing data.
Following the aerial survey, there will be an approximate three week duration in which surveyors will use non-intrusive survey equipment to validate the survey accuracy of the LiDAR point cloud and review against Ground Control Points. These locations (such as corners or existing manholes) will be accessible to the surveyors from public areas and as a result, the surveyors will spend only a short amount of time at a Ground Control Point location.
This planned LiDAR survey is subject to suitable weather conditions and the programmed survey date is subject to change.
Web Update 24 - LTC Virtual Journey video from H.E.
[ 19 March 2018 ]
Highways England have just released a video of a virtual journey of the proposed Lower Thames Crossing.
It takes drivers on a journey through the two mile long crossing, which will feature two tunnels taking a three
lane road under the River Thames between Kent and Essex.
The video illustrates the 13 mile route and the tunnel - it is an Artists impression.
Web Update 23 - Latest H.E. LTC Project Design Changes
[ 2 November 2017 ]
The project design changes announced by H.E. on 1st November 2017 are as follows:
• Removing the proposed A226 junction
• A new design for the junction with the A2
• The route will now be 3 lanes in each direction between the A2 and the A13
• A new junction design at the junction of the Lower Thames Crossing and the M25
• A new route and design to avoid Ockendon landfill
• Redesign of the A13 junction and the removal of the A128 junction (which is enabled by the A13 junction redesign)
• A new junction and link road at Tilbury.
Read more details from H.E.
Web Update 22 - Details of the H.E. LTC Scheme as Proposed
[ 27 October 2017 ]
Representatives from Higham Parish Council, other local Councils and interested bodies met with representatives of Highways England (H.E.) in September 2017. The 20 page H.E. presentation is now available here. [PDF document]
Web Update 21 - H.E. Community Team Meeting with LTCA [ 15 September 2017 ]
Members of the Gravesham Lower Thames Crossing Association (LTCA) Steering Committee met with representatives of Highways England (HE) on 8th September 2017, to discuss progress with the Lower Thames Crossing.
• they have taken on board the main feedback from other meetings (including our meeting in Higham), such as the location of the tunnel portals, the A226 junction, the redesign of the A2 junction, and mitigation measures,
• they were unable to share any revised proposals - they hope to be able to share their latest design proposals in late 2017 or early 2018.
HE have been asked to provide:
• information regarding updated traffic forecasts, the forecasts for the A226, A227, A228, and associated local infrastructure.
• information regarding proposals to improve traffic flows at Dartford, since it is not in our interests to have traffic diverting from Dartford because of ongoing delays and congestion.
From 14 September 2017, specialist engineers will be onsite to the south of the Met Police rifle range in Gravesend carrying out ground investigation surveys for the Lower Thames Crossing.
This will involve drilling several boreholes, to test the properties of the ground and groundwater for up to two weeks. The rigs will be approx. 6m high and there will be 6 – 8 rigs in use.
The land affected by the works will be re-instated to its original state and to the satisfaction of the landowners under the supervision of a HE representative once the works are complete.
HE state that the works will be carried out with the aim to limit disturbance to the natural environment as well as the public.
Web Update 20 - H.E. Community Team & Other Meetings [ 6 July 2017 ]
Eva, Caroline and 3 colleagues from the Highways England Lower Thames Crossing Community Team met with 40+ plus parishioners informally in the Small Hall at the Memorial Hall in School Lane on 3rd July. Residents had the opportunity to make their views known – especially on the potential junction on the A226.
Further meetings will be planned – if you would like to receive information about the Crossing and any future meetings – join the mailing list – email your name and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07480 518493.
The Lower Thames Crossing government website is a useful source of information:
A LOWER THAMES CROSSING MEETING WITH KCC took place on Wednesday 5 July - it was good to hear about KCC’s strong opposition to any junction on the A226, and their demand for additional tunnelling of the link road.
Representatives from Higham, Shorne, and Chalk met with senior members and officers of Kent County Council at County Hall to discuss mitigation measures for the proposed Crossing east of Gravesend.
The meeting, arranged by Gravesham Rural County Councillor Bryan Sweetland, was attended by Matthew Balfour, KCC Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste, and his deputy Michael Payne, together with Transport Strategy Manager Joe Ratcliffe and Katie Pettitt, Principal Transport Planner.
At the meeting, KCC listened to our concerns, and shared their views on mitigation requirements not just for the immediate area, but also with regards to the impact on traffic on the A226, A227, A228, and surrounding roads and villages.
KCC also shared their proposed design drawings for the link road which they have recommended to Highways England and which, if adopted, would go a long way towards mitigating many of the worst impacts of the crossing and link road.
Clearly there is a still a lot of detail to address as the design is developed, and it was agreed that the parties would continue to liaise so that KCC can keep us updated on developments, and we can ensure that local concerns are taken into account.
Higham Parish Council was represented by Peter Allinson, with Susan Lindley and Bob Lane from Shorne, and Rev. Nigel Bourne from Chalk.
Web Update 19 - Preferred Route Announcement [ 20 April 2017 ]
Although the Parish Council is extremely disappointed with the recent announcement of the preferred route (see map) for the proposed Lower Thames Crossing, it is not altogether surprising. Many of us thought that the decision to go with Option C had already been taken prior to the consultation.
The key issue now is to ensure that local people are represented around the table as the next steps are taken. This does not mean that there will not be a challenge to the decision, the consultation process and the way in which petitions were seemingly discounted - work is already underway to examine the legal issues as well as reviewing potential for future actions and protests at local and national level. We will be working with groups and organisations, including the other local Parish Councils and Action Groups in Essex.
However, we must be prepared to be fully engaged with all discussions about the finer details of the route, mitigations, environmental protections etc. Of specific importance, are the discussions and decisions about a possible junction on the A226, impact on the A2 and our local roads, as we well as the protection of the environment and the Green Belt, not to mention pollution and health concerns.
It is essential that we continue to urge the Government to really listen to our concerns and issues.
We will continue to keep residents informed of everything related to the Crossing – through updates:
• here on this website (www.higham-kent-pc.gov.uk/ltc)
• the Parish Council Facebook page
• posters on the Parish Council Noticeboards (Forge Lane – outside the Library, Three Crutches, the green Lower Rochester Road, Lower Higham)
• posters in the Post Office and Village Greengrocers.
If you would like to be added to the email list we can send updates directly to you – email email@example.com to be added to this list.
For further information about the Lower Thames Crossing go to:
Any questions about the Lower Thames Crossing: email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07480 518 493.