New Lower Thames Crossing

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c2R
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by c2R » Wed Nov 25, 2020 07:36

Bryn666 wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 13:13
It would be interesting to see if the LTC, even despite tolls, weans Channel ports traffic off the SW side of the M25. Now the A14's two worst bits have been resolved, it must be starting to look more attractive to come from the north west via M6/A14/M11 again than M42/M40?
Something needs to be done with the M11/M25 junction also - it is marked out wrongly leading to accidents and delay. The most important turning movement is M25 anti > M11north (and vice versa); however, the M25 lane drop (anti) is signed for London, so HGV traffic leaves that empty and moves into M25 lane 2. https://www.google.com/maps/@51.6741447 ... 312!8i6656

The sliproads widen to two lanes but has some tight corners https://www.google.com/maps/@51.680444, ... a=!3m1!1e3 - cars start to overtake the slow HGVs, and then both give way, without tiger tail to the M11's northbound carriageway. At this point which, at this point, has some very fast moving traffic coming out of London, which has had a long descent into the junction.

The two lanes then travel up a long hill, and only then are joined by more M25 traffic from the other direction, which is moving faster as it doesn't have the same tight turns - HGVs are then stranded in lane 2 being both overtaken and undertaken on what is now a long uphill stretch.


There are several things that could be done to fix this using different lane allocations and white lining...
* signpost both exit lanes from the M25 as M11 North, and then split the London traffic afterwards as a single lane left hand exit from the slip road
https://www.google.com/maps/@51.6782088 ... a=!3m1!1e3
* merge lane 2 of the sliproad with the M11, and replace the hard shoulder for a few metres with an additional lane, until the other M25 slip joins, https://www.google.com/maps/@51.6828504 ... a=!3m1!1e3 which should be merged into lane 1 https://www.google.com/maps/@51.6854305 ... a=!3m1!1e3
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by jackal » Wed Nov 25, 2020 08:59

The Thames Crossing Action Group have poured their heart out to the Planning Inspectorate. More puzzlingly New Civil Engineer have regurgitated their nonsense wholesale, such as 'votes' not being counted (do they think a consultation is an election?), and given it the stamp of 'official evidence'. Are the interns going to treat readers to the ramblings of every disgruntled pressure group?

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest ... 4-11-2020/

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c2R
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by c2R » Wed Nov 25, 2020 09:31

jackal wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 08:59
The Thames Crossing Action Group have poured their heart out to the Planning Inspectorate. More puzzlingly New Civil Engineer have regurgitated their nonsense wholesale, such as 'votes' not being counted (do they think a consultation is an election?), and given it the stamp of 'official evidence'. Are the interns going to treat readers to the ramblings of every disgruntled pressure group?

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest ... 4-11-2020/
Perhaps the road haulage association should get all their individual drivers to vote if we're going to have a referendum on it... Sigh...
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Bryn666 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:21

jackal wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 08:59
The Thames Crossing Action Group have poured their heart out to the Planning Inspectorate. More puzzlingly New Civil Engineer have regurgitated their nonsense wholesale, such as 'votes' not being counted (do they think a consultation is an election?), and given it the stamp of 'official evidence'. Are the interns going to treat readers to the ramblings of every disgruntled pressure group?

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest ... 4-11-2020/
I didn't realise Donald Trump lived in Kent. That's some abysmal nonsense - people have a right to oppose road schemes but if they can't use facts to oppose, they shouldn't be given the column inches.
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by RichardA35 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:23

There is, however, a point to be made and I may have missed some part of the consultation work along the way but here it is:
The initial aims were to relieve the Dartford Crossing of strategic traffic to the channel ports and the initial exercise tested various routes and types of crossings and selected a preferred route far to the east based upon a D2 standard.
The standard of that preferred route was then changed from D2 to D3 following traffic work and it has stumbled along the way a bit like Frankenstein's monster not knowing whether it was relieving the existing Dartford crossings of strategic traffic or providing a development corridor (allowing or not allowing links to Tilbury 2 and local road junctions). It would appear to have ended up not particularly successful in keeping the locals happy and the forecast relief (or non-relief) of Dartford.

What surprises me is that it appears that (and I might have missed it) the initial sift of options that selected the preferred route was not repeated when the standard was increased to D3. A clear view that the best relief of Dartford is this scheme might help justify it but there is a lingering doubt amongst the protest groups that the original project brief has been subverted.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Jim606 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 13:24

Please forgive my ignorance here, but the link or lack of one with the M20 seems to be a wider issue? Surely the A229 also needs an upgrade?

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Chris5156 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 14:06

Jim606 wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 13:24
Please forgive my ignorance here, but the link or lack of one with the M20 seems to be a wider issue? Surely the A229 also needs an upgrade?
We discussed that upthread at some length. It is an issue, but it's not within the scope of this project, which is just to provide a link across the Thames. The A229 is not even a trunk road, so for Highways England to include the trunking and upgrade of a separate road some distance away would risk tangling up the already-controversial tunnel with an upgrade scheme that will also be controversial.

There are separate schemes being discussed to improve the junction of A229 and M2 by Kent County Council, but largely just to deal with existing traffic volumes. I think it's very likely that once the LTC opens there will be a very urgent need to upgrade the A229, and it's possible HE will be directed to trunk it and carry out the upgrade work, but I strongly suspect there will be a years-long period where the A229 is carrying lots of LTC traffic and upgrade works are only at the ideas stage.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Scratchwood » Wed Nov 25, 2020 15:26

jackal wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 13:09
Yes, I think it's been the most substantial consultation ever held in the UK. Some of the local councils oppose the scheme, and as adequacy of consultation is one of the main grounds on which a scheme can be rejected, that's what they're clinging to, though it's not their actual grounds for opposition.
Gravesham might be against it, but Dartford are desperate for it to go ahead

Option A is a nonsense, as it gives no redundancy against the existing crossing being blocked, that's the whole point of having a completely separate crossing away from Dartford

We've had an excellent consultation.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by booshank » Wed Nov 25, 2020 17:02

Scratchwood wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 15:26
jackal wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 13:09
Yes, I think it's been the most substantial consultation ever held in the UK. Some of the local councils oppose the scheme, and as adequacy of consultation is one of the main grounds on which a scheme can be rejected, that's what they're clinging to, though it's not their actual grounds for opposition.
Gravesham might be against it, but Dartford are desperate for it to go ahead

Option A is a nonsense, as it gives no redundancy against the existing crossing being blocked, that's the whole point of having a completely separate crossing away from Dartford

We've had an excellent consultation.
Redundancy is good, but it still leaves Dartford as a dog's dinner, even if it's a dog's dinner relieved of some strain. Having such a poor quality, 50 limit section for such an important orbital route is far from ideal.

Besides, it's hardly unique. Many if not most motorway routes have no real redundancy unless you count low-capacity local roads. A blockage anywhere on the M25 for example would cause major disruption. Dartford would at least have the advantage that a closure of one carriageway would be unlikely to close the others. If another bridge was built for motorway traffic you'd have four separate structures (two bridges and two tunnels) so there would be quite a bit of redundancy in the crossing, if not for the route.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Vierwielen » Wed Nov 25, 2020 17:57

JF2309 wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 01:59
Bryn666 wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 13:32
Micro The Maniac wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 13:27
Perhaps the Inspector is puzzled why a strategic motorway-to-motorway link is being green-lined, not blue-lined ;-)
We can only hope! It's a completely bonkers decision to not have this as a motorway.
Hypothetically of course here, indulge me, but could they after the consultation period decide to change there mind and make it a Motorway by just calling it one, or would that require a restarting of the whole process?
If you look at the M25, you will notice that the Dartford crossing is not a motorway, but is the A282. Other than the M4/M48 across the Severn, no motorway crosses a major river without a parrallel non-motorway bridge. You will probably find that thre is some legal reason why the LowerThames Crossing is not a motorway.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Bryn666 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 18:41

Vierwielen wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 17:57
JF2309 wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 01:59
Bryn666 wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 13:32


We can only hope! It's a completely bonkers decision to not have this as a motorway.
Hypothetically of course here, indulge me, but could they after the consultation period decide to change there mind and make it a Motorway by just calling it one, or would that require a restarting of the whole process?
If you look at the M25, you will notice that the Dartford crossing is not a motorway, but is the A282. Other than the M4/M48 across the Severn, no motorway crosses a major river without a parrallel non-motorway bridge. You will probably find that thre is some legal reason why the LowerThames Crossing is not a motorway.
There is no legal reason why the LTC can't be a motorway. The reason all our major river crossings barring the M4/M48 are A roads is primarily because they all replaced ferries so there was an expectation that pedestrians and cyclists could cross. The M4 as was has provision for prohibited traffic.

The LTC not being a motorway is the same nonsense as the A14 not being a motorway - Highways England are either incompetent and don't know how the law to create one works, or they think motorways are a toxic term. The fact they'd rather invent "expressways" than use the paragraph in the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 that designates a motorway gives weight to this.

The A14 was clearly a water testing exercise which they ran a mile from.
Bryn
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by KeithW » Wed Nov 25, 2020 20:00

Vierwielen wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 17:57

If you look at the M25, you will notice that the Dartford crossing is not a motorway, but is the A282. Other than the M4/M48 across the Severn, no motorway crosses a major river without a parrallel non-motorway bridge. You will probably find that thre is some legal reason why the LowerThames Crossing is not a motorway.
The Dartford crossing predates the M25 by a couple of decades so you cannot read too much in to that. I used it when the way you got to it was via the A13 and North Circular from Dagenham. The A282 was in fact built as an all purpose road but of course when it opened not all classes of traffic were allowed to use the Crossing, no cyclists or pedestrians are allowed in the tunnels.

As to other examples I cannot think of a major river crossed by a motorway which did not already have a number of existing bridges. I would take issue with parallel however, the A1(M) crosses the Don and while there are other bridges over it none are parallel or very close, the nearest would be the Sprotborough Bridge and getting to it is a challenge. The nearest bridge to the original Severn crossing was quite some distance away in Gloucester which is probably why it has a route for cyclists. Similarly the Thelwall Viaduct carrying the M6 has no nearby parallel bridges, the closest are the Knutsford Road bridge and Warburton Swing bridge bothof which are over 2 miles away as the crow flies and a lot farther by road.

Now as to the LTC the fact is that its planned to plug into the A2 south of the River not the M2 and the A13 north of the Thames so making it a motorway is possible but not quite as simple as some may think. Given that its perfectly possible to limit classes of traffic using TRO's I see no reason to get in a lather about it not being a motorway. There is in fact already an alternate crossing for non motorised traffic in the form of the Gravesend-Tilbury ferry.
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by jervi » Fri Nov 27, 2020 16:07


Update video from HE

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by c2R » Fri Nov 27, 2020 16:29

KeithW wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 20:00
Given that its perfectly possible to limit classes of traffic using TRO's I see no reason to get in a lather about it not being a motorway.

However, to do so is messy, resulting in confusing signage, and its not-quite-motorway status also creates various additional well documented problems. I agree that none of it is the end of the world... however, nobody's yet given any really good concrete reasons (if you'll pardon the pun) as to why it is preferable to create new all purpose routes in this way instead of using motorway legislation - for it is what has been physically built....
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by jackal » Fri Nov 27, 2020 18:48

Apparently the Inspectorate's areas of concern were the following:

Managing construction traffic: more information needed
Navigational Impact Assessment: specifically use of a jetty on the River Thames near to Tilbury docks
Site waste management plan: creation of a formal plan
Habitats regulation assessment: more information needed
Landscape and ecology management: specifically details of long-term management of the project
Consultation: respond to concerns raised by Thurrock Council and Gravesham Borough Council on approach to consultation

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest ... 7-11-2020/

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Chris5156 » Fri Nov 27, 2020 21:20

jackal wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 18:48
Apparently the Inspectorate's areas of concern were the following:

Managing construction traffic: more information needed
Navigational Impact Assessment: specifically use of a jetty on the River Thames near to Tilbury docks
Site waste management plan: creation of a formal plan
Habitats regulation assessment: more information needed
Landscape and ecology management: specifically details of long-term management of the project
Consultation: respond to concerns raised by Thurrock Council and Gravesham Borough Council on approach to consultation

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest ... 7-11-2020/
None of those sound like showstoppers. File under "extra homework"!

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by RichardA35 » Sun Nov 29, 2020 13:03

Chris5156 wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 21:20
jackal wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 18:48
Apparently the Inspectorate's areas of concern were the following:

Managing construction traffic: more information needed
Navigational Impact Assessment: specifically use of a jetty on the River Thames near to Tilbury docks
Site waste management plan: creation of a formal plan
Habitats regulation assessment: more information needed
Landscape and ecology management: specifically details of long-term management of the project
Consultation: respond to concerns raised by Thurrock Council and Gravesham Borough Council on approach to consultation

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest ... 7-11-2020/
None of those sound like showstoppers. File under "extra homework"!
Well leaving grounds for consultees to object is rather poor work really.
SWMP is a statutory requirement and if you haven't quantified the earthworks to draw up the plan then you can't assess the construction traffic needed.
For instance, is there a 5M, a 500,000 or 50,000 cubic metre problem? North of the river or south? Where do the tunnel arisngs go which are slurrified - each of these has different effects on the locality and the cost of the scheme and for a scheme that has been in preparation for so long these should really be known about now.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by Bryn666 » Sun Nov 29, 2020 15:15

Are we back to the big question... why is our strategic highways operation and its army of consultancies incapable of doing its job properly?
Bryn
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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by RichardA35 » Sun Nov 29, 2020 18:12

Bryn666 wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 15:15
Are we back to the big question... why is our strategic highways operation and its army of consultancies incapable of doing its job properly?
The army of PM's and consultants like to leave things open so that they can use the contractors to achieve some sort of commercial benefit while in a competition. Unfortunately things have moved on and the basics of a materials strategy are needed at DCO stage especially when they will affect the economics and also the locals as construction works will have significant effects over say a 5 year timetable. It really is Project Management 101 - little more than making out a checklist of the documents needed for DCO and then making sure that the work is put in to produce them on time.
It is perhaps telling that enthusiasm for the scheme is almost zero amongst the UK contracting firms and we may end up like Stonehenge where the line up is predominantly from overseas.

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Re: New Lower Thames Crossing

Post by M4 Cardiff » Sun Nov 29, 2020 22:35

RichardA35 wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 13:03
Chris5156 wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 21:20
jackal wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 18:48
Apparently the Inspectorate's areas of concern were the following:

Managing construction traffic: more information needed
Navigational Impact Assessment: specifically use of a jetty on the River Thames near to Tilbury docks
Site waste management plan: creation of a formal plan
Habitats regulation assessment: more information needed
Landscape and ecology management: specifically details of long-term management of the project
Consultation: respond to concerns raised by Thurrock Council and Gravesham Borough Council on approach to consultation

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest ... 7-11-2020/
None of those sound like showstoppers. File under "extra homework"!
Well leaving grounds for consultees to object is rather poor work really.
SWMP is a statutory requirement and if you haven't quantified the earthworks to draw up the plan then you can't assess the construction traffic needed.
For instance, is there a 5M, a 500,000 or 50,000 cubic metre problem? North of the river or south? Where do the tunnel arisngs go which are slurrified - each of these has different effects on the locality and the cost of the scheme and for a scheme that has been in preparation for so long these should really be known about now.
Although the geology of the area should be pretty well known, has there been any sort of ground investigation been done yet? Since one to the items that is required in Site Waste Management Plans and also Materials Management Plans is contingency for volumes being out, if the GI has not been done, there will still be quite a lot of fuzzyness in the figures as although the engineers may expect certain volumes of materials and certain percentages to be reusable on site, some to be able to be sold on for construction elsewhere and some to go as waste, both clean and contaminated, if the GI has not been done, these figures cannot be pinned down with much accuracy. Even after the GI has been done, where is still the potential for some variance, because on a project of this size, some anomaly will always become apparent during construction, that was not recorded in the GI.
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