GOVERNMENT bosses have thrown out Option B for a Lower Thames Crossing.
The decision was announced this morning in Parliament with Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin saying Option B, which would have connected the A2 with the A1089, had ‘the weakest case.’
He revealed Option B was given limited support as it would jeopardise major redevelopment of the Swanscombe Peninsula, in Kent.
We reported Option B was likely to be dismissed earlier in the week.
The two remaining options are Option A, which would see another crossing built next to the current Dartford-Thurrock crossing and Option C, which would connect the M2 with the A13 and the M25 between junctions 29 and 30.
Option C has been heavily criticised by MPs Jackie Doyle-Price and Stephen Metcalfe.
The announcement means Options A and C will be kept open until more environmental studies are carried out, which include studying potential further improvements on the M25 and A13.
The Highways Agency has already begun preparations so that the crossing can be delivered as quickly as possible once the final location has been decided.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “We had over 5,700 responses to the consultation and we have carefully considered each of them. Ruling out the least attractive option now gives some clarity for local residents and businesses.
“We are committed to making a decision on the location of the new crossing as soon as possible, but we recognise that whatever crossing location is chosen it will have significant impact for people in the area and the economy. These are tough decisions to be made and must not be taken lightly.”
Free-flowing tolls will be introduced from October 2014 to reduce congestion.