Lower Thames Crossing supplementary consultation - Environmental impacts

Closes 25 Mar 2020

Opened 29 Jan 2020

Overview

Environmental impacts

As part of our statutory consultation in 2018, we produced a Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR). This provided the public, statutory consultees and other stakeholders with preliminary information about the project’s likely significant environmental effects, and the measures being considered to avoid or minimise them.

Environmental impacts associated with the project changes

We are now proposing a number of changes to the project, which are outlined in section 3 and in the Utilities Update. This includes proposed alterations to the design of the route and its junctions, as well as diversion of utilities. We are also proposing related changes to the development boundary.

The Environmental Impacts Update document, explains the environmental effects associated with the proposed changes, compared with those considered in the 2018 PEIR.

In the Environmental Impacts Update document, the expected effects on the following aspects of the environment are considered for the proposed changes (where applicable), during both construction and operation:

  • Air quality
  • Biodiversity (terrestrial and marine)
  • Climate
  • Cultural heritage
  • Geology and soils
  • Landscape
  • Materials
  • Noise and vibration
  • People and communities
  • Road drainage and water environment

The Environmental Impacts Update document explains what we are doing to reduce impacts (mitigation measures) and why.

Air quality, noise and vibration

The Environmental Impacts Update document also provides more information on air quality, noise and vibration in relation to the specific changes to the scheme, during construction and operation, and how we are looking to mitigate these impacts.

In addition to the changes relating to route design and utility diversions, the updated traffic modelling has revealed some changes to the traffic flows on roads across the study area, the details of which can be found in the Traffic Modelling Update. Furthermore, the air quality modelling inputs, including scheme monitoring data and the vehicle emission factors and pollution background maps provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, have been updated since the PEIR was undertaken. We are working to understand the effects of these changes and ensure the project complies with the National Policy Statement for National Networks.

Green bridges

At statutory consultation we were proposing to provide five green bridges (Brewers Road over A2, Thong Lane over A2, reinstate the route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders over/under LTC/ A2 junction, Thong Lane over LTC, and Green Lane over LTC). As a result of changes to the route, as well as further information from ecological surveys, an additional three green bridges are now proposed for the scheme in the north (Muckingford Road over LTC, Holford Road over LTC, North Road over LTC) these additional green bridges also incorporate pedestrian/equestrian and cycle routes.

Have your say
To comment on the environmental impacts and how we plan to reduce them, answer question 4a and 4b in the response form.

Due to changes in the design of the LTC/M2/A2 junction and the movement of the southern tunnel entrance, the proposed route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders over/under LTC/A2 junction has been removed. As a consequence, the Thong Lane bridge over LTC has been further improved and widened to 84 meters to accommodate the realigned public rights of way. This would also improve the link between areas of woodland and replacement tree planting as part of the wider landscape design, as well as providing access to the areas of replacement open space. As with other changes where a difference in the environmental effects have been identified these are described in the Environmental Impacts Update document.

Next steps

Further assessments and the development of detailed measures to reduce environmental effects are ongoing as part of our Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). These will be reported in the Environmental Statement (ES), which will also be informed by the Project’s consideration of consultation responses, and further survey and design work. The ES will be submitted as part of the DCO application later this year.

We are continuing to work with stakeholders and statutory consultees to develop our design, so we can maximise the benefits and minimise environmental impacts.

The Environmental Impacts Update and Utilities Update documents can also be found:

Continue to the next section: Section 7: Building the Lower Thames Crossing

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