The Department for Transport (DfT) has brought in Aecom to assess options for the M25 Dartford Crossing, including whether a new bridge or tunnel should be built.
The Dartford River Crossing was first opened in 1963 as a single bore tunnel. A second tunnel followed in 1980 and the Queen Elizabeth Bridge became operational in 1991. The objective of this study is to help develop the longer-term strategy for the crossing. The 12 month study will consider options to provide additional river crossing capacity in the lower Thames area. It is intended the study will help inform public consultation on options during 2013.
Plans to launch a public consultation on options for the crossing were announced in last year’s Autumn Statement. That announcement came two years after another DfT study by WSP and Parsons Brinckerhoff recommended that further detailed work should be carried out into the feasibility of, in the longer term, providing a new crossing at one of three sites.
The three potential options for a new crossing identified in the study were:
- At the site of the existing Crossing
- Between the Swanscombe Penisula and the A1089
- From east of Tilbury to east of Gravesend to the M20
It also said further work should be carried out to identify whether short term improvements could be delivered to provide a smoother flow of traffic at the existing crossing. This has already been acted on, with the DfT currently out to tender for contractors to install barrier-less toll technology at the crossing.