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Plans for Thames crossing at Gravesham branded 'folly' at public meeting
PLANS to build a new Thames crossing east of Gravesham have been attacked as "folly" at a packed public meeting.
Members of A Bridge 2 Far were joined by more than 100 residents and Gravesham MP Adam Holloway for the event on Thursday evening at Shorne Village Hall.
The group was set-up following the Government’s public consultation on three proposals for a new crossing which included plans to connect the M2 with the A13 in Essex at a cost of £3.1 billion.
A Bridge 2 Far opposes this Option C which would cost more than £5 billion were additional work to be done widening the A229 between the M2 and the M20.
Adam Holloway addresses the meeting.
The proposed four-lane motorway would cut through the ground of Vicar Nigel Bourne’s church in Chalk.
He told the meeting: "It is the most destructive, the most expensive and the most ineffective option so you can see why we are against it.
"We decided we weren’t people who want to live next door to a big road but we want to think about the situation imaginatively and not just be NIMBYs."
But Gravesham councillor for Shorne, Cobham and Luddesdown Robin Theobald nailed his colours to the mast, declaring: "I am proud to be a NIMBY.
"We don’t want the garden of England turned into the backyard of London."
The three options for a new crossing.
Surveyor Mike Sealy suggested Option C would lead to development "bridging that gap between the conurbation of Gravesham and Medway", while concerns were raised over air pollution along the route.
Adam Holloway argued raising the capacity of the High Speed 1 line and building new freight terminals in Essex would negate the need for a new crossing.
He said: "If Option A gets chosen we can all get drunk and fall asleep in an armchair but if it’s Option C we need to be prepared to fight.
"This is a bridge too far and a folly of the marshes."
Option A is to build another crossing at the site of the existing Dartford bridge while Option B would connect the A2 at Swanscombe with the A1089 in Tilbury.
A decision from the Department of Transport is expected next month.
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