The organisations included:-
- DP World London Gateway,
- Port of Tilbury,
- Port of Dover,
- the Freight Transport Association,
- the Road Haulage Association,
- the South East Local Enterprise Partnership,
- Essex Chamber of Commerce,
- Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, and
- Ebbsfleet Development Corporation,
Just in case the Chancellor thought they might have an open mind on where this should be, they made it clear that “the business community remains loud, clear and unified in support of a new crossing at Location C, east of Gravesend”.
John Cubitt, Leader of Gravesham Borough Council has responded by saying:: “I notice that this group welcomed the consultation but didn’t take account that it was deeply flawed in that it failed to include Option A14 – a crossing which would have run parallel to the existing ones but could start further back and re-join the M25. That would potentially alleviate Dartford’s problems of pollution and congestion as well as taking M25 traffic out of the equation.”
“But rather than make the case, they have simply supported the clamour fuelled by KCC and their acolytes – like Kent and Medway Enterprise Partnership (KMEP) and the South East London Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).
Mr Cubitt went on to say “We absolutely support a solution being found for the pollution and congestion at Dartford, but better options rather than Option C are available. Gravesham Council has just sent our own technical appraisal to the new Secretary of State which draws attention to the shortcomings in the advice he is being given by Highways England.
“The council’s position remains that we are implacably against Option C. Our main reason is that a crossing east of Gravesend simply will not solve the traffic problems at Dartford. Even by Highways England’s own projections, Option C would only reduce traffic at Dartford by 14 per cent. If people see that as significant they should also consider that the projected growth in traffic is even more than that.
“The council has been united and unanimous in its opposition to this option. We believe that the people of north Kent have been sold a pup if they believe it will come close to resolving Dartford’s twin problems of pollution and congestion.”