Cars Win £6bn in Government Support as New Thames Tunnel is Revealed

By Gary Cutlack on at

The English bit of the government's transport division has revealed altered plans for a new tunnel under the Thames, with the refreshed Lower Thames Crossing putting a 16 metre hole under the river to make life easier for the south-east corner's automobile leaseholders to drive about. The catch? They'll probably have to pay to use it. At least there'll probably be an app when it's ready in about 2025.

The Lower Thames Crossing won't be a toll road, though, as the current plan is to introduce some sort of variable pricing "user charge" structure that's more like a tax for driving through it rather than a toll for passing. Apparently those are not the same things. Some men who know about roads will hopefully leave comments beneath this explaining how and why that is.

This latest consultation on the new tunnel plan sees the route moved further downstream by half a mile or so to reduce impact on something or other -- probably a special bird or a moth or a type of rare moss or a historically important plague pit, we don't know -- plus the entrance has been lowered slightly too, although there's not much mitigating possible to do with the 14.5 miles of new dual carriageways that are to be built atop and abottom of the tunnel to connect it to other, older, less exciting bits of the south-east corner's heaving road infrastructure.

Environmentalists are predictably furious that cars are being favoured to this extent as the planet is on the cusp of a superheated death spiral, but then again all those Steves have got to get to work somehow, haven't they? Steves can't stop driving to work because they're worried about their exhaust pipes. [Highways England]