Winning support for the Lower Thames Crossing
We work with the External Affairs team, leading on business advocacy and key stakeholder engagement on National Highways' Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) project, the biggest investment in the country's road network for a generation.
The LTC will add billions to the UK economy by helping to unlock the huge potential of the Thames Estuary region. The new connection will increase network capacity and open up new markets for local businesses, transforming the economies to the east of London, in Kent and Essex. Like other major projects of this scale, this £8bn project is politically sensitive, and under intense scrutiny. We help to develop creative strategies to overcome opposition.
We’ve been working with National Highways to find and mobilise key advocates for the LTC since Infrastructure Matters was founded in 2015. We’ve been with the project through Options, Statutory Consultation, and to submission of the Development Consent Order application.
Our work on the Lower Thames Crossing
There are more than 30 MPs in the LTC project area. These MPs are some of the most important and influential stakeholders for the project. We’ve built strong relationships with the MPs most directly affected, ensuring every detail and every impact on their constituents is understood. We’ve worked with each MP to show how the LTC will benefit their constituents, and local businesses, and in doing so we’ve helped turn opposition into support.
Our business engagement strategy is about finding the silent majority and helping them tell the story of how the LTC will build a new economy in Kent and Essex. We’ve worked closely with business leaders and representative organisations at a regional and national level including the South East LEP, Thames Estuary Growth Board, Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses. By working with key partners, we’ve reached thousands of businesses to build a network of supporters advocating for the LTC.
The LTC is National Highways' largest ever engineering project, running through some of the biggest and most important local council areas in the country. We’ve worked with leaders and officers in over 20 authorities in Kent and Essex and into Greater London. We’ve built an influential group of supporters, advocating for the LTC. And we’ve worked closely with councils to resolve problems and identify opportunities to mitigate their concerns.
Strong engagement with SMEs boosts the number of local businesses in the supply chain, making the economic benefits of the project real for local communities. We set up a partnership with the Supply Chain School and the LTC, to offer local SMEs free training to ensure they’re ready to work with tier 1 contractors on the delivery of the project. We’re also delivering a range of initiatives including an SME directory to better connect tier 1 contractors with these local suppliers.
Our consultation specialists and design teams have helped to deliver high quality public consultation materials for the LTC project. We turn technical engineering information into language the public can understand. We’ve helped key stakeholders and community members understand what complex infrastructure projects mean for them.