Thames Crossing - Green reaction

Thames Crossing proposal has failed to consider anything but road transport –  Green Party  highlights flawed process. The proposed new Thames crossing east of Gravesend and Tilbury should be sent back to the drawing board, say Green campaigners in Kent, Essex and London.

The Highways Agency has been consulting on the plan – the consultation closes on March 24.  

South East Green MEP Keith Taylor says: “The Government’s road building programme needs to be scrutinised and the money redirected towards a sustainable public transport strategy that seeks to reduce traffic on the roads, not accommodate it at ever-greater environmental cost.  

”More than 70% of our air pollution is due to cars and lorries. If the Government is to stay true to its recent climate change commitments made in Paris, it needs to be innovative and develop sustainable transport alternatives. Yet, over recent years, we have seen local bus services make swingeing cuts while the price of train travel continues to soar - UK tickets are the most costly in Europe. I am calling on the Government to completely reassess its priorities. We need to significantly reduce our road traffic to combat climate change.”

A letter to the Highways Agency has been sent today signed by leading Green campaigners in areas affected by the proposals.

Cllr Caroline Russell, of London Green Party, said: “There is no mention of trying to stem this forecast increase in traffic by improving other modes of transport, especially rail. With or without further road building these increases in motorised traffic are not sustainable”.

Cllr Martin Whybrow, Kent County Council, said: “The study pays scant attention to the environmental and human costs. The various options cause destruction to ancient woodland, areas of outstanding natural beauty, pockets of the Green Belt and agricultural land. Thurrock and North Kent already experience high levels of air pollution with resulting health issues for local people; a new road will only worsen the living conditions – including more noise - for local people”.

Paul Jeater, Chair of Brentwood and Chelmsford Green Party, said: “The estimated cost of the proposed new crossing, somewhere between £4-£6 billion, would be better spent taking freight off road and onto rail and investing in bus services. This would markedly improve the quality of life of residents in both counties”.  

Notes to editors:

For further comments from Keith Taylor please contact his press officer: Liam Ward <keithpress@greenmeps.org.uk>

Details of the plans can be found here:

http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/lower-thames-crossing/


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