Lower Thames Crossing 'climate and air pollution disaster doomed to fail on its own terms', Green MEP
Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP for the South East, has responded to a new consultation on plans for the Lower Thames Crossing launched today [Wednesday, 10].
Commenting on Highways England's proposals, which come just days after the IPCC's latest climate report, the senior Green politician, a member of the European Parliament's Transport Committee, said:
"This damaging project is symptomatic of the Conservative government's antiquated approach to transport planning. The new Lower Thames Crossing is doomed to fail even on its own terms; inducing traffic rather than reducing congestion. The government's own figures reveal the proposal will put at least an extra 55,000 vehicles a day on the county's roads ."
"Despite the latest IPCC report and the reality that transport is the UK's single most climate-destructive sector, the project turns a blind eye to the urgent reality of the climate breakdown. It also ignores an illegal and toxic air quality crisis linked to more than 700 preventable deaths every year in Kent and rides roughshod over local communities. We need breathing cities, not neverending roadbuilding projects that fail to deliver the integrated and effective solutions people actually want."
Mr Taylor, who recently launched his 'Outmoded' sustainable mobility publication, added:
"The estimated £6 billion earmarked for the new crossing should be redirected towards innovative and truly sustainable twenty-first-century alternatives, including projects to move freight from our roads onto the rails, seas, and waterways. We also urgently need investment in integrated and affordable public and active transport networks, directed by local communities, which will reduce traffic and markedly improve the quality of life for residents in Kent and beyond."
- Highways England claims the crossing would take 77,000 vehicles a day by 2025 and reduce traffic on the Dartford Crossing to around 138,000 vehicles a day; 100% capacity. Currently, the Dartford Crossing carries around 160,000 vehicles a day; the plan, therefore, sees an extra 55,000 cars on our roads in Kent by 2025. A recent study, backed by the CPRE, looked into the 'traffic inducement' effect of road building.