New images revealing what the £6bn plans for the Lower Thames Crossing could look like have been released as the project enters into its next phase.

Highways England's is proposing a new, 14.3-mile road tunnel connect Kent, Thurrock and Essex, forming Britain's longest road tunnel and aiming to offer an alternative alleviate the often abysmal level of congestion at the Dartford Crossing.

The project has now entered into its next phase of consultation, with several changes to the multi-billion project and new images giving us a glimpse at what the tunnel could look like.

Changes were made to the original plans following analysis of the 29,000 responses received during the last consultation in 2018, and Highways England are inviting people to have their say on the new designs and images in a new eight-week consultation.

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The new motorway would almost double road capacity across the River Thames east of London, introducing a 70-miles-per-hour speed limit and "opening up new connections and opportunities" for both sides of the river.

Chris Taylor, Director of Highways England’s Complex Infrastructure Programme, said: "The Lower Thames Crossing is Highways England’s most ambitious project in 30 years, designed to improve journeys across the southeast and open up new connections and opportunities for people and businesses.

"Getting the views of the local community and businesses is crucial to designing a project that will offer the best value, maximise the benefits for all, while reducing the impact on local communities and the environment.

"This consultation is a chance for people to review and comment on a number of changes made since our last consultation in 2018, and to help shape this once-in-a-generation project."

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Updates to the design include:

  • Direct access between Gravesend and the A2/M2 Eastbound and a redesigned Gravesend East junction
  • An extension to the southern tunnel entrance in Gravesend
  • Reduced impact on protected bird habitats in the Ramsar Marches and the Thames Estuary
  • Removal of the rest and service area and maintenance depot
  • Moving the alignment of the route between Tilbury and the A13 junction by approximately 60 metres
  • Redesigning some slip roads around the A13/A1089 junction to move roads away from properties, improve safety at the junctions, and improve visual impact
  • Removing one lane southbound between the M25 and A13 junction to reduce the amount of land required.

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If you'd like to submit feedback, the new consultation is now open and will run for eight weeks until March 25.

People can respond to the consultation by visiting one of 20 events in Kent, Essex and Thurrock, completing an online survey through the Lower Thames Crossing website, sending a form via Freepost or by sending an email.

Once the consultation closes in March, Highways England will analyse the new responses and then finalise its plans and seeking planning consent by submitting a Development Consent Order (DCO).