Feature, Freight News, Road

Europa boss has plan to get M25 out of a jam

[ October 9, 2017   //   ]

Europa Worldwide Group managing director Andrew Baxter is spearheading a campaign to tackle regular traffic jams at the Dartford Tunnel – by proposing that all oversized and hazardous goods vehicles are redirected the other way around the M25.

He says that the Dartford Crossing, close to Europa’s headquarters, is brought to a standstill every time an oversized or hazardous goods vehicle enters the crossing and needs to be escorted in a convoy – which means all other traffic has to stop.

He says that the environmental and economic damage of creating traffic jams on the Dartford Crossing are much worse than sending a small number of vehicles the other way around the M25.

He told FBJ that the convoy system “causes significant traffic problems” and that, in his opinion, it was the lesser of two evils to send any vehicles the long way round rather than bring Dartford to a grinding halt up to 200 times every day.

Trucks heading from the Dover direction to the M1 would face only 13 extra miles by going the long way round the M25, he argued, although those travelling from Dartford to Thurrock would have a 100 mile longer journey, he admitted.

He added that he had recently sat in a jam so that a truck carrying “an old prtacabin” could be escorted through the Tunnel.

In a separate but related issue, he is also urging the road authorities to re-examine the current 4.8 metre height restriction in the left hand Dartford tunnel bore, which is just 5cm less than the height of a standard double-deck trailer. “The issue is that drivers unfamiliar with the area find they are approaching the wrong tunnel, stop, and bring everything to a halt,” he said. “I’m asking the authorities to look again at the limit – it could just be a matter of designing a few erxtractor fans.”