MT 152/387/1

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Dartford Tunnel traffic study: report on the preliminary investigation into the Dartford Tunnel as an element of the M25 London Orbital Motorway. Part 1 of 2

Date range1976-1983
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries MT, subseries MT 152

Context

This item (and its cousin MT 152/387/2) are slightly misfiled, or at least their file name is not very well thought-out. It sounds like this is a report on a preliminary investigation into using the Dartford Tunnel as an element of the M25. In fact, it's a report on a preliminary investigation into the Dartford Tunnel which is already an element of the M25. Small difference, but significant: if you're looking for the reasons why Dartford was chosen as part of the M25's route, you won't find them here - instead you'll find investigations into how it will perform, that decision having already been made.

These two files are a bit of a mixed bag. This one has lots of material on the carrying of hazardous substances through road tunnels and a revision to the applicable regulations that affected the Dartford, Mersey and Tyne Tunnels. There are also published General Manager's Reports into the operation of the Dartford Tunnel for the years 1977 to 1979 - very dull.

There are several copies of a report into the provision of extra toll booths at Dartford, which sounds fairly tedious, but the issue is tied in to the matter of the tunnels' capacity and anticipated traffic flows through and around the area, and if you sidestep the talk about how many vehicles can go through a toll booth in an hour and whether automatic coin collection offers any time saving, you'll find lots of interesting little points about traffic flow, future plans for the area east of London and safety concerns over running a three-lane motorway straight into a two-lane tunnel.

The real gem here is a report into the East London River Crossing from 1981 - this is the point at which it was revived by the Department of Transport following the cancellation of Ringway 2 some seven or eight years earlier. It's here because at the time the adequacy of Dartford was thought to rely heavily on the opening of ELRC to take some of the traffic load away.

Links to other files

MT 152/387/2 Dartford Tunnel traffic study: report on the preliminary investigation into the Dartford Tunnel as an element of the M25 London Orbital Motorway. Part 2 of 2 (1976-1983)

People with camera copies

Chris Marshall has a partial copy.