At a glance

National Highways
Thames Estuary Growth Board
Kent, Essex, London
2.6 miles
Investment Type
Government funding, contractors
2 years

The Lower Thames Crossing will be one of the most strategically vital roads in the UK, connecting people to jobs, businesses to customers, and some of the country’s biggest ports and distribution hubs.

The Crossing will be the longest road-tunnel in the UK, stretching 2.6 miles, and will almost double road capacity across the Thames Estuary Region and east of London – easing congestion on the Dartford Crossing, improving journeys across the southeast, and creating a reliable new route across the River Thames.

ESG credentials

  • Lower Thames Crossing is designed to be the greenest road ever built in the UK
  • Building a new road will have an impact, but National Highways are committed to reducing this and leaving a positive legacy – a place for local communities and visitors to enjoy, and a place that gives wildlife and plant life a chance to thrive
  • It will ease congestion and therefore reduce pollution
  • Lower Thames Crossing will support regional economic development as a result of strategic freight connectivity and this will further support local and regional economic growth linked to London Freeports and connectivity to the Midlands
  • Potential to create localised Good Growth (Thurrock and Dartford) if public transport investment included in future Lower Thames Crossing scheme development
  • The impact on local roads is limited, but could improve sustainable, local connectivity across the river if public transport investment was included as part of the scheme

Investment benefits & ROI

  • New crossing of the River Thames between Kent and Essex, together with supporting roads linking to the M25, A13, and M2
  • Lower Thames Crossing will relieve congestion and improve performance of the Dartford Crossing as well as providing resilience on the strategic road network
  • Traffic modelling suggests a significant proportion of traffic that currently uses the Dartford Crossing will divert to the Lower Thames Crossing with wider decreases in traffic on roads west of the proposed crossing such as the A2, A13 and M25
  •  The tunnel would be made up of two 2.6 mile (4.3km) tunnels crossing beneath the river, one for southbound traffic, one for northbound traffic

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