The proposed new trees for Lower Thames Crossing

Yesterday the Institution of Engineering and Technology published this piece focused on the current proposal from the National Highways agency to Plant more than a million trees to offset the environmental impact of the proposed new road tunnel under the River Thames. It states that “A community woodland and two public parks are among the 400 hectares (1,000 acres) of “landscape scale” forest creation that the government has planned to offset the environmental impact of a new road tunnel scheme under the River Thames.” The person who is referred to at the beginning of the piece is Matt Palmer, the executive director for the Lower Thames Crossing. His comments in the piece include “The Lower Thames Crossing will tackle the daily frustration caused by the congestion at Dartford, improve journeys and bring exciting opportunities for new jobs and businesses across the region, but we are determined that this will not come at the expense of the environment,”

The other person who is referred to on the IET article is Jack Taylor, the lead campaigner, Woodland Trust. Apparently Woodland Trust campaigners have criticised the scheme, pointing out that the construction of the road will still lead to the loss of  “irreplaceable” ancient woodland and wildlife, as well as an increase in carbon emissions. Jack stated “No number of new trees compensates for the loss of irreplaceable ancient woodland; centuries-old and nature’s own carbon stores,” he also said “We’re fighting both a nature and climate crisis and destruction like this for a road scheme beggars belief,”

However thanks to the internet it becomes clear that there are other people challenging this proposal. One key person is Laura Blake who is the Chair of the Thames Crossing Action Group. The TCAG has a website and they have elements that it is useful to see. This one was from 2nd September last year there was a piece on Essex Radio which involved both Matt Palmer and Laura Blake. A number of elements were referred to in the piece such as the claim from Matt that the Dartford Crossing currently reaches 180,000 vehicles on some days whilst the capacity is only 135,000 vehicles per day. The Lower Thames Crossing has suggested that the predicted traffic growth will have risen by 216,000 vehicles on the busy days by the time the new per day. There are other pieces such as this one that provides more information about the TCAG group and some of the challenges they have faced.

For those of us who live and work in the South East but are not based in Kent or Essex or East London it seems important for this theme to become better promoted so thank you for the IET piece and the TCAG pieces.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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