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  1. ITV Report

New Lower Thames Crossing could boost economy by billions

Highways England have announced the new Lower Thames Crossing between Kent and Essex will not only relieve congestion at Dartford, but boost the economy and create thousands of jobs.

Plans for the £4.4 - £6.2 billion crossing east of Gravesend and Tilbury are expected to provide three lanes of traffic in each direction and the project could help unlock £8 billion in economic benefits and create up to 6,000 jobs.

Highways England addressed delegates at a conference with new plans Credit: ITV

Addressing delegates at the South East Local Enterprise Partnership's 'Robots, Routes and Revenues' event, the organisation showed more than a hundred senior representatives from business and local authorities an animated fly-through of the 13 mile route connecting the M25 in Essex and the A2 in Kent.

The crossing currently carries over 55 million journeys Credit: ITV

Highways England says it will also create prospects for further growth in housing, and support international trade by connecting to the Port of Tilbury and improving transport links to the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel in Kent.

"We are working closely with local businesses, communities and authorities to ensure we make the most of the new crossing’s potential to unlock economic growth, provide more jobs and homes, and improve access to leisure and retail opportunities.

The Lower Thames Crossing offers a once in a generation opportunity to significantly improve connections between Essex Thurrock and Kent, and I know the businesses at today’s event are keen to support us in helping to fully realise the benefits this crossing will bring.”

– Tim Jones, Project Director Highways England

The current Dartford Crossing handles 55 million journeys a year, six million more than it was designed for and suffers closures almost every day due to traffic incidents.

The Lower Thames Crossing design aims to provide a safer junction with greater capacity that also blends better with the local landscape.

The project is expected to open to traffic by 2027.