Controversial Lower Thames Crossing Decision Postponed Due to General Election

The decision on the controversial Lower Thames Crossing project has been postponed due to the upcoming July 4 general election.

The planned tunnel, which would connect Kent and Essex and cost an estimated £9 billion, was set to be considered by the secretary of state for transport on June 20. However, with the announcement of the general election by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last week, the decision has been pushed back to October 4.

National Highways, the government agency responsible for the project, stated that the delay is necessary to allow the new government enough time to thoroughly review the planning application. The Department of Transport aims to make a decision before the new deadline.

If approved, the 14-mile road tunnel would become the longest in Britain and is expected to be the “greenest road” in the country.

The Lower Thames Crossing project has been in the works for 15 years but has faced many obstacles and delays. So far, it has cost £300 million without any physical progress being made. In comparison, Norway spent less on completing a 15.2-mile road tunnel in 2000.

The planning application for the Lower Thames Crossing is also the longest on record, with a staggering 359,866 pages spread across 2,838 separate documents. If all the pages were laid out on the ground, it would stretch 66 miles, equivalent to a journey from Gravesend to Cambridge.

Despite the delays and high costs, the Lower Thames Crossing remains a highly debated and controversial project. With the new deadline set for October 4, only time will tell if the government will approve the long-awaited tunnel.

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