The Consultation Booklet was a clear recommendation for Option C, in fact consultees were only given the option of choosing between variants of Option C. There were no questions on any other options.
Unfortunately, from reading the booklet, people would have been completely unaware that Option C is still expected to leave the Dartford Crossing with more traffic than its designed capacity.
They would have seen that Option C is expected to reduce traffic at Dartford by 14%, but they would have been completely unaware that traffic levels at Dartford are forecast to increase by 14% by the time the new crossing is opened, and that traffic volumes at Dartford would still be very similar to today’s levels even after Option C is built.
They would have been completely unaware that traffic at the Dartford Tunnels was being held up for between 800 and 900 times a month on average to allow petrol tankers and other hazardous loads to be escorted through, and that traffic was being brought to a standstill for 2 minutes or longer on each occasion. They would also have been unaware that there are no plans to remove these restrictions at Dartford.
They would have read that the scheme objectives include the need to improve safety and to minimise adverse effects on the environment. They would have been completely unaware that Option C will result in twice as many accidents and casualties as Option A, and will produce double the amount of additional CO2 emissions.
Even if these aspects had been clearly stated, consultees might still have decided to go with Option C, but at least it would have been an informed decision.
It begs the question why Highways England chose not to come clean about these issues. Were they worried that people would send them back to the drawing board to come up with a better scheme?
And why is it that anyone who publicises these issues to Option C supporters is labelled a Nimby? Why do they object to us making people aware of these issues? Why do they want to hide them?