back to top

Massive response to public consultation

June, 2016

The public consultation into the proposed new Lower Thames Crossing could have a big impact on the future of infrastructure in the South East. Kent PR and public affairs agency Maxim was involved in the campaign to encourage the business to community to have their say.

It came as no surprise to Maxim’s community engagement team that the recent consultation on the new Lower Thames Crossing secured the largest ever response for a UK road project.

Working closely with the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, Maxim helped galvanise the participation of the area’s business community.

Andrew Metcalf, who led on the campaign for Maxim, said: “Local opposition to the possible location at Gravesend was quickly mobilised, with the majority opposing a route through their area, but happy to see their near neighbours in Dartford continuing to suffer.

“Too often on these large scale projects, the opinions of supporters can be quickly overwhelmed by the opponents. It was therefore essential the business community was mobilised to give its views: Highways England needed to see business backs its plans to invest.”

High level of engagement

More than 47,000 people took part in a consultation for a new Lower Thames Crossing, which will be the first new road crossing for the Thames east of London for 25 years and unlock massive economic benefits for the region and country as a whole.

Highways England has announced that nearly 30,000 people gave their views online via an Ipsos MORI survey, a further 3,700 people completed the paper questionnaire and around 13,000 sent a letter or an email in response to the consultation. A further 500 local government and industry groups also responded.

As part of Maxim’s work, we briefed the media, meeting editors on both sides of the Thames, sent out press releases, and gave a series of presentations to business groups across the region.

Briefing notes were prepared for partners, including Kent & Medway Economic Board; Greater Essex Business Board, Essex Chambers of Commerce and Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and distributed to their members.

Business focus

At the heart of the campaign was a specially developed website – – which focused on the business case for the major investment, highlighting widespread consensus among organisations for a route east of Gravesend.

The responses are currently being analysed, and a final decision on a preferred route will be made by the government later this year.

Subject to the necessary funding and planning approvals, the new crossing would be open in 2025.

Andrew Metcalf added: “Like many businesses in Kent and Essex, let’s hope the decision is for a route east of Gravesend and that work can get under way quickly.

“As a Kent-based PR and communications agency, it is great to think that in some small way we will have helped reduce congestion at Dartford, boosting the future resilience of the existing road network and supporting the free-flowing of our international trade routes.”

posted in: maxim/client news, public relations,

we'd love to work with you

get in touch