Mega theme park plans 'could add to Essex traffic problems'
Piers Meyler, Local Democracy Reporter
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Roads in Essex could suffer serious congestion if a massive new £3.5billion theme park goes ahead, according to traffic experts.
There are concerns about the potential impact on the Dartford Crossing, and roads across a large part of south Essex.
Highways England says locations of potential concern include M25 junction 2, M25 junction 30, the A13/A1089 junction and the A2/M2 east of the M25.
Discussions are taking place over the plans submitted for the London Resort being proposed for the Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent.
Transport for London (TfL) says it has concerns over the resilience of the transport network. It said an incident on the Dartford Crossings or delays on the HS1 rail lines, for example, could “lead to a significantly different pattern of demand”.
TfL adds that the M25, the Dartford Crossing and other parts of the strategic road network in this area already suffer from congestion for extended periods.
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Thames Crossing Action Group said it has concerns that the London Resort would create yet more traffic in areas that are already heavily congested.
It said: “Even if the Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) goes ahead Highways England’s (HE) own data shows that the Dartford Crossing will remain over capacity.
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“We are concerned that the extra traffic that the London Resort would generate on top of these issues that the LTC would create would create serious congestion, chaos, and pollution throughout the whole area. In addition we do not feel that London Resort has given proper consideration to the recent addition of their parking facility north of the river.”
In 2020 it was decided that 25% of car passengers should travel via a park and glide ferry service between Tilbury in Thurrock and Kent to relieve road and rail networks.
Road traffic modelling suggested that the ‘Asda’ Roundabout at the junction between the A1089 St Andrews Road / Dock Road, Windrush Road and Thurrock Park Way should be included in the Essex Project Site to accommodate potential highway improvements.
It is feared that any traffic trying to access the London Resort parking in Tilbury would need to take this detour, adding more traffic to local roads.