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Bridges: River Thames

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will make a statement on the possible construction of a lower Thames crossing. (188211)

The Department for Transport has started the first phase of a study into longer-term crossing capacity in the Lower Thames.

As part of an earlier consultation on a revised charging regime for the existing Dartford Crossing, we announced our intention to commence a study to look at options for addressing rising demand in the longer-term. The start of this study fulfils that commitment.

This initial phase of the study will advise on the future need for additional crossing capacity and identify possible options. It will also update the transport models to better understand the impacts of current and future demand, and review previous work on what can be done to improve traffic flow through the existing crossing in the short to medium term.

This phase is planned to be completed around the end of this year and will ensure that we have the latest information and forecasts of demand to be able to make an assessment of potentially viable future options.