We recently added an update to our Legislation Tracker showing that Highways England has launched a follow-up consultation on the proposed Lower Thames Crossing which will connect Kent, Thurrock and Essex through a tunnel under the Thames.

Full details of this latest consultation, which is open until 25 March 2020, can be found at highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/ltc/consultation-2020.

It has attracted the attention of the Freight Transport Association (FTA) which is urging the Government to address the lack of facilities for drivers along the proposed route.

Heidi Skinner, Policy Manager for the South East at FTA, said: “There is already a severe lack of facilities for commercial vehicle drivers in the South East of England; the Department for Transport (DfT) identified 37% more parking spaces are needed just to meet minimum requirements.”

Despite making a valuable contribution to the UK economy, she continued, these drivers are often denied access to very basic amenities. The FTA is therefore very disappointed to see that plans for a ‘rest and service area’ have been removed from the proposals.

Ms Skinner pointed out that the Association and its members have been very supportive of the Lower Thames Crossing as it promises to help ease traffic and improve road capacity in a heavily congestion area.

However, she went on, no other workforce would be expected to operate under such poor conditions.

“In an industry where you are compelled by law to take regular breaks and rest,” Ms Skinner concluded, “it is vital drivers have access to these most basic amenities; FTA will continue to work with Highways England to ensure facilities are placed close to the scheme.”

Last reviewed 13 February 2020