Lower Thames Crossing: Improving connections and economic growth opportunities

The Lower Thames Crossing is being designed as the greenest ever road built in the U.K. to connect Kent, Thurrock and Essex through a new tunnel beneath the River Thames

Visualization of Lower Thames Crossing aerial view toward River Thames

The Lower Thames Crossing, England’s single biggest roads investment project since the M25 was completed more than 30 years ago, is unprecedented in size and scale. The longest road tunnel in the U.K. and one of the largest diameter bored tunnels in the world, will give the opportunity to transform journeys across the south-east and beyond.

Driving economic growth

The Lower Thames Crossing will form a vital part of the U.K.'s transport infrastructure, and the areas it will serve are home to economic hubs, key U.K. ports and thriving communities. It will help businesses large and small to grow and bring people and communities closer to jobs, education and leisure opportunities.

The new road will almost double road capacity across the River Thames, east of London. The 70mph crossing and the new connecting road network will provide, quicker, safer and more reliable journeys locally, regionally and nationally.

The greenest road

The new crossing is being designed as the greenest road ever built in the U.K. As a pathfinder project, it is exploring carbon neutral construction that will enable the sector to continue to deliver vital infrastructure and play its role in helping the U.K. reach net zero by 2050 and leave a legacy of green skills in the region.

It will connect people to nature with a new community woodland, two public parks, seven green bridges and almost 40 miles of new and improved pathways for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

A122 Lower Thames Crossing fly-through

Lower Thames Crossing fly through

What is involved?

Jacobs is Integration Partner for the program, acting as a catalyst for collaboration between National Highways and the Lower Thames Crossing’s three Delivery Partners responsible for delivering the most ambitious road scheme in a generation. As Integration Partner, we bring a diverse range of capabilities to create a strong support function that will enable National Highways to deliver its ambitious environmental plans as well as program management, stakeholder management and risk management. 

Jacobs and our partners supported National Highways in design development and carrying out the most comprehensive program of consultation undertaken for a U.K. road project, before guiding it through the largest and most complex Development Consent Order ever submitted. It is now preparing the project for the delivery phase, and is helping the early assembly of the delivery team so it can carry out the vital design work to embed low-carbon materials and technologies, reduce the impact of construction on local communities, and maximise value for the tax payer. When the project gets the green light, we will also support the successful delivery of the construction, integrated system commissioning and handover to operations helping to ensure the project leaves a great legacy.

The project is at the stage where the rigorous scrutiny of its application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) by the Planning Inspectorate has been completed, ahead of U.K. Government making a consent decision. 

Visualization of Lower Thames Crossing aerial view
  • 90 %

    extra road capacity to be created across the river connecting Essex and Kent

  • 70

    miles per hour

  • 14.5

    mile route offering new connections