October 12 - Oversized and hazardous goods vehicles transiting through the Dartford Tunnel in the UK could face being redirected if the 'Stop The Convoys' campaign, launched by Europa Worldwide Group's managing director Andrew Baxter, gains traction.
Baxter's proposal to reroute oversized and hazardous goods convoys the other way around London's orbital M25 motorway aims to tackle traffic jams at the crossing.
"When a vehicle which is oversized or carrying hazardous goods enters the crossing, it needs to be escorted in a convoy," explains Baxter. "Whenever there is a convoy, all other traffic has to stop. On average, 100 convoys go through the crossing a day - and traffic has to stop to accommodate them."
According to Europa, this means that one of the tunnels is closed every 15 minutes on average.
"My suggestion is simple: stop the convoys and divert these oversized and hazardous vehicles the other way around the M25," adds Baxter. "I believe that the environmental and economic damage of creating traffic jams on the M25 are much worse than sending a small number of vehicles the other way around the M25."
Baxter claims his proposal will potentially remove up to 2.5 hours of traffic jams at the Dartford Tunnel each day.
While Baxter is encouraging people to sign the petition to 'Stop The Convoys', Highways England M25 regional director, Simon Jones, says the proposal "to reroute all hazardous goods and oversized vehicles from the crossing has several issues which would make it hard to implement."
Jones explains: "The crossing is meant to accommodate all types of vehicle, and it is unlikely to be acceptable to the Road Haulage or Freight Transport Association's to ban these vehicles from the crossing, or the number of freight companies on the north side of the crossing which use it regularly."