Rural road concerns over HGVs moving 2million tonnes of Lower Thames spoil through Brentwood

HGV drivers shifting around two million tonnes of material away from the Lower Thames Crossing site could trundle though Brentwood’s urban areas and villages to avoid major trunk roads, the local authority has warned.

The Lower Thames Crossing Transport Assessment adds 20 per cent to flows to account for spoil traffic but states that it is not yet known where that spoil will be going.

Within Brentwood, the construction traffic and employee traffic generated by the Warley Street compound adjacent to Brentwood Enterprise Park is expected to generate up to 19 HGV and around 100 car trips a day.

But the biggest unknown is construction spoil – to be removed by Ingrebourne Valley which was awarded the contract after submitting the only viable bid.

Brentwood Borough Council’s concern to Highways England is that landfill sites around Greater London and the South East will compete for this spoil and truck movements carrying it will be uncontrolled.

Its response to Highways England will say: “If left unchecked this could generate trips through places like West Horndon village in the event that the A127 is congested, and increase truck movements through the Brentwood urban area and town centre.

“The council seeks some form of control measure from National Highways regarding spoil movements.”

The council has added it concerns about the impact construction works and traffic will have on housing delivery projections within the South Brentwood Growth Corridor dominated by the planned 4000-home Dunton Hills garden village.

Shaun Pidcock, Lower Thames Crossing Programme Director, said: “The Lower Thames Crossing is the most ambitious road project in over 30 years.

“When it opens for traffic it will almost double road capacity across the Thames between Kent and Essex, ease congestion across the region and make journeys quicker, more reliable, and safer.

“We are committed to reducing the impact on local communities during construction.

“Our plans include beneficially reusing as much excavated material on site as we can to remove hundreds of thousands of HGVs from local roads, as well as restrict construction traffic to specific routes that will be agreed with the local authority to avoid residential areas and sensitive locations where possible.

“We are grateful for the feedback from Brentwood Council and will continue to work closely with them and all of our neighbours to reduce the impact of the project, as well as maximise the benefits.”

Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter