More details about the controversial Lower Thames Crossing have been announced by Highways England.

'Key changes' surrounding the logistics of the long awaited new crossing have been announced including a new junction design at the M25.

The route will now be three lanes in each direction between the A2 and A13, which will involve widening the A2 to M2, junction 1 to improve traffic.

Highways England confirmed to News Shopper that testing has started on land for the proposed route which is east of Gravesend, but no work has yet begun.

Highways England project director for the Lower Thames Crossing, Tim Jones, said: "The Lower Thames Crossing offers a once in a generation opportunity to significantly improve connections between Essex and Kent.

"This new crossing will create an £8 billion stimulus to the UK economy, by increasing capacity to cross the Thames between Essex and Kent by 70 per cent when it opens by 2027, providing some much needed relief for the Dartford Crossing.

"The design changes we are proposing have been shaped by the feedback we received from our consultation and there will a further opportunity for people to comment in a public consultation next year.”

The Dartford Crossing is routinely operating over capacity, with 55 million journeys being made each year on a road designed for 49 million.

According to Highways England, 300 times a year the crossing is closed for 30 minutes or more due to incidents, with the closest alternative crossing 27 miles away at the Blackwall Tunnel.

New changes also include a new route to design a landfill site in Ockendon, Essex, removing the A226 junction and a new design for the junction with the A2.

Over 240 property owners are now in the development boundary for the Lower Thames Crossing, meaning their properties might be required to make the new tunnel a reality.

The Lower Thames Crossing will cost an estimated £4.4 billion and create 6,000 new jobs in a scheme welcomed by Dartford officials.

Speaking after the announcement in April, Dartford Mp Gareth Johnson said: "This is possibly the most significant decision affecting Dartford in a generation. It is not only the right decision for Dartford but also for the whole country."

The new crossing is not expected to be completed until 2027.