Rail crossing expected to take millions of freight miles off the road each year

A plan is being drawn up to build a link between the Kent rail system and a super port planned for Shellhaven in Essex, Building can reveal.

The "multi-modal” crossing, which would take millions of freight miles off the road each year, was proposed at a meeting during last week’s Mipim property conference in Cannes. It has received preliminary agreement from the bodies overseeing the regeneration of the Thames Gateway, according to a source familiar with the area.

Currently, rail freight in Kent has to travel all the way around west London to get to destinations north of the capital, because of the lack of available rail routes.

The source said it was possible that the costs of the tunnel or bridge, which could also include road services, could be met by tolls.

An agreement to investigate the scheme further was made between the Thames Gateway Kent Partnership and the Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership.

It is being supported by Stephen Jordan, who is vice chair of the Kent Thameside Delivery Board and managing director of London and Continental Railways. He said: “We are interested in investigating further the benefits of a new Thames crossing to Shellhaven.”