THURROCK council has insisted it is “unanimously opposed” to the Lower Thames Crossing as a ten-week consultation kicks off.

Highways England officially launched its latest online consultation tomorrow.

A preferred route was announced in April 2017 by transport secretary Chris Grayling, following a large-scale consultation which gained roughly 47,000 responses.

Now, Highways England is looking for additional responses on the project – which aims to create a new route between Essex and Kent, relieving pressure on the Dartford Crossing.

Highways England will release updated plans with a more detailed design, but Thurrock Council have criticised the body for failing to show it plans ahead of time.

Rob Gledhill, leader of Thurrock Council, said: “I’m disgusted but unsurprised at the unacceptable lack of engagement and information from Highways England ahead of time for the council to properly prepare information and advice for residents.

“They have said that the consultation documents will run to 7,000 pages, yet have refused to share information with us in advance of the consultation beginning, despite many meetings and attempts to engage as much as possible in the process.

“Highways England will have a battle on their hands and I want to assure the people of Thurrock that we will do all we can to protect the interests of our borough.

“The council remains unanimously opposed to the Lower Thames Crossing and this position has not changed. If the scheme goes ahead, we need to ensure that everything possible is done by Highways England to minimise the impact on the environment and ensure the health of our residents is not harmed. Measures must be put in place that deliver against Thurrock’s priorities and not those of Highways England.”

Mark Coxshall, councillor for regeneration, added: “Officers will analyse the detail of what has been supplied quickly but effectively so we can respond robustly – but this will take some time. As and when we have gone through information on specific areas contained within the consultation documents, we will be providing information to support the public’s response.”

The consultation material is available at