Lower Thames Crossing supplementary consultation - Changes to the route - South of the river in Kent

Closes 25 Mar 2020

Opened 29 Jan 2020

Overview

Changes to the route - South of the river in Kent

M2/A2 junction

Feedback from our statutory consultation and further engagement with stakeholders prompted us to investigate the overall junction configuration.

Some of the significant changes we’ve made in this section of the route are shown below:

More Information

Removal of the M2/A2 link at M2 junction 1
The link between the A2 eastbound link road and the M2 eastbound has been removed. This has been replaced by the new link road connecting Valley Drive in Gravesend to the M2 eastbound.

M2/A2 narrowing
We have made alterations to minimise the footprint of the road through the AONB and Shorne Woods Country Park.

On both M2 carriageways, the fourth lane has been reverted to standard width, where possible, through the AONB. The central reservation between the Brewers Road bridge and the Park Pale bridge has been reduced in width. The hard shoulder has also been removed from the eastbound link road along the A2. To mitigate this it has been replaced with a hard strip and if an incident occurs we will use technology to control the traffic to prevent the link road backing up into the tunnel. A hard shoulder has been retained on the Brewers Road eastbound slip to accomodate broken-down vehicles at this junction.

The M2/A2 junction
This has been altered significantly to provide a more compact layout. Now, the north-facing slip roads do not extend as far northward up the route which allows the southern tunnel entrance to be moved 350 metres south. The main changes are:

  • A new junction now partially encroaches into the Claylane Ancient Woodland as a result of the southern tunnel entrance move and the new connection from Valley Drive (see below).
  • The main route of the LTC is located further away from Thong, Thong Lane and the Shorne Woods Country Park.

A new connection has been added to the junction between the Valley Drive roundabout and the M2 in the eastbound direction to make journeys for motorists travelling from Gravesend more direct. This connection will also provide access to the LTC northbound.

A2 local connections
We have modified the Gravesend East junction, roundabouts and local link roads to reduce congestion and provide better connections with the existing Marling Cross bridge and Henhurst Road.

We have moved the A2 westbound slip road to Brewers Road slip road further west, from the Halfpence Lane roundabout to the new roundabout west of Thong Lane off the A2, to avoid HS1 land.

Changes have been made to the walkers, cyclists and horseriding network around the A2 junction. Please see section 5 for more information.

Southern tunnel entrance redesign
We have extended the tunnel southwards, which has moved the entrance 350 metres to the south. This has also required the tunnel to move approximately 50 metres to the west. This change should lessen any potential impacts on the Thames Estuary and Marshes Ramsar site and Special Protection Area. However, as a result of reducing the impact on the Thames Estuary and Marshes Ramsar site, the junction now encroaches into the Claylane Ancient Woodlands. Moving the entrance south will move the road away from properties in Chalk. In addition, this change will enable a dry evacuation above water level and reduce the permanent land needed in this area.

Southern tunnel entrance maintenance and access road
The width of the private maintenance and access road corridor around the southern tunnel entrance has been increased from eight metres to 12 metres. This provides enough space for drainage, lighting, a safety barrier and a road that can cater for two-way traffic.

The private maintenance and access road to the A226 has been moved to the west, away from the Church Lane junction that provides access to St Mary’s Church, Chalk. The new location for the access road also moves it away from the church, which some consultation respondents told us they were concerned about.

South of the river in Kent - M2/A2 junction proposals

More Information

South of the river in Kent - M2/A2 junction proposals

(Click on the numbered icons in the image below to view the information.)

 

M2/A2 junction connections – to and from the LTC junction connections – to and from the LTC
(Click on the icons in the image below to view the information.)

 

M2/A2 junction connections – from London and Kent
(Click on the icons in the image below to view the information.)

A2/M2 junction connections

The table below shows the connections to and from the A2/M2 junction.

How to read this table: Find your starting point or location in the left hand column then look along the columns to see which direct connections you can make.

Starting
location
Your direct connections LTC northbound LTC southbound M2 eastbound M2 westbound A2 eastbound A2 westbound Gravesend East eastbound Gravesend East westbound A289 eastbound A289 westbound Brewers Road eastbound Brewers Road westbound
LTC
northbound
   
LTC
southbound
   
M2
eastbound
   
M2
westbound
   
A2
eastbound
   
A2
westbound
   
Gravesend East
eastbound
   
Gravesend East
westbound
   
A289
eastbound
   
A289
westbound
   
Brewers Road
eastbound
   
Brewers Road
westbound
   

 

M2/A2 junction images

 

M2/A2 junction images

 

M2/A2 junction images - Thong Lane and M2/A2/LTC junction

 

M2/A2 junction images - Gravesend East, looking north-east towards Thong

 

M2/A2 junction images

 

M2/A2 junction images

Our landscaping proposals have been developed to mitigate the visual impact of the crossing’s permanent above-ground infrastructure. The tunnel entrances are a relatively short distance away from each other but the environment and landscape at each site is quite different.

In the south there is the wooded high ground of the North Downs. At the southern entrance, the landscaping proposals would reflect the existing character of the local environment, which has undulating chalk landforms, dry valleys and tree cover on higher areas of terrain. An informal public space, Chalk Park would be created around the southern tunnel entrance, using a mixture of chalk grassland, woodland and other suitable habitats to improve local biodiversity and ecological connectivity. A new landform, with woodland planting to the top, would create vantage points to the wider Thames Estuary.

Construction of the chalk cutting, and creation of this landform require the relocation of the existing pitch and putt facility. We are proposing that this is moved to adjacent land immediately south-east of Cascades leisure centre.

Please see the Environmental Impacts Update for more information on Chalk Park.

Continue to the next section: Section 3b: Changes to the route - North of the river in Thurrock and Essex

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