Traffic managers are warning a planned new theme park near the Dartford Crossing in Kent could cause huge traffic problems.
The East Anglian Daily Times reports that both Highways England and Transport for London are worried the £3.5 billion London Resort proposed for the Swanscombe Peninsula could have an impact on the Dartford Crossing, and roads across a large part of south Essex as well as near the actual site.
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.
The report adds that Transport for London says it has concerns over the resilience of the transport network with an incident on the Dartford Crossings or delays on the HS1 rail lines, for example, could “lead to a significantly different pattern of demand”.
In order to manage traffic, the theme park’s planners suggest a quarter of visitors could park in south Essex and take a ferry across the Thames to the site in what they’re calling a “park and glide” service.
However the Thames Crossing Action Group which opposes the building of the new Lower Thames Crossing told the paper, “We do not feel that London Resort has given proper consideration to the recent addition of their parking facility north of the river.”
The Echo newspaper in Essex adds that Basildon Council, which has been consulted on the plans, has called for “realism” over what the project will and won’t achieve saying, “While this proposal has clear planning merits, makes good use of brownfield land and will be a significant employment generator, the fact that such globally recognised theme parks do not presently exist in the UK – with a population of almost 67 million people – may be indicative of a general overall lack of demand.
The London Resort states, “Our transport strategy has evolved considerably, and our proposals now include land at the Port of Tilbury to allow visitors to arrive by boat, reducing impacts on local roads. The plans also now include staff accommodation, which will reduce the amount of staff travel. Our plans also include ambitious proposals for sustainable development and operation of the London Resort.”