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Havering Council clashes with Highways England over Lower Thames Crossing

The Lower Thames Crossing will connect Kent to Essex and impact roads in Havering 

Highways England is being urged to rethink plans to scrap a discount for Havering residents using the future Lower Thames Crossing.

Havering Council was previously promised locals would qualify for a reduction on the toll charge just as Thurrock residents will. 

However, last year Highways England reversed that decision leading to the council officially pulling its support for the project. 

Leader of Havering Council, Cllr Damian White, said they will not “sit idly by” and described the move as a “betrayal”. 

“In our view there is no difference between us and the other councils in this area as each of them will host the crossing and be affected by it in similar ways,” he explained. 

“The crossing will have a significant impact on Havering and the people who live there. It will result in noise and disturbance, make our roads even busier, and undermine our efforts to improve air quality in the borough.

“Offering discounted toll charges won’t offset this but it will go some way to showing that they have taken into account the impact it will have on Havering’s residents and businesses, and that we are being treated fairly alongside other local authorities.”

Cllr Damian White

Highways England is preparing to launch a new public consultation for the project after the previous one was called into question. 

It will run from Wednesday, 14 July until Wednesday, 8 September before a new planning application is submitted later in the year. 

Cllr White added: “Last year the Council challenged Highways England over a botched consultation process which saw residents silenced when it was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Thanks to our aggressive lobbying Highways England have seen sense to run a better and longer consultation to give our residents a fair chance to have their voices heard.”

Cllr White will also be writing to the Secretary of State calling on Highways England to push for the previously agreed discount. 

He is going to ask for investment in Gallows Corner as the new crossing “will create even more pressure at a junction which is already unfit for purpose”. 

If you would like to support Havering Council’s fight for the Lower Thames Crossing discount, you can sign its petition online here

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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