AN MP has called for the proposed £8.2billion Lower Thames crossing to be halted and redesigned over feats it will not cut traffic at the Dartford Crossing.

One of the key ambitions of the crossing, from Kent to Thurrock, was to reduce traffic and long queues at the Dartford Crossing.

However, MPs and councillors fear it will be ineffective and could actually lead to increased traffic on major roads in south Essex.

Stephen Metcalfe, Tory MP for south Basildon and East Thurrock, is demanding ministers revisit the plans.

He said: “I have never made any secret that I have reservations about the crossing’s ability to reduce congestion.

“I believe that not only will this project fail in achieving its goal but it will increase traffic in the local area considerable.

“That being said I would like to commend the crossing team for their work with consulting and working with all Essex MPs as well as other stakeholders as they try to deal with this 15 year long problem.”

Conservative Basildon Council leader, Andrew Baggott, wants to see the new crossing reduce the impact of congestion on his borough.

He said: “I trust Mr Metcalfe’s judgement and agree it’s vital this new crossing does what we are promised.

“We need to see less impact of the congestion we already see on Basildon. We need to ensure decisions like this are made by people who are considering and recognising the issues in the areas.”

A new consultation is being launched in June.

Tony Cox, leader of the Southend Conservatives, added: “I think it will help Southend as any new crossing like this will do. It will help with access to and from the now city. It will be a closer crossing to help and benefit Southend.”

Matt Palmer, executive director of the Lower Thames Crossing, said: “The Dartford Crossing is used by tens of millions of us every year as the only road across the river Thames east of London, connecting Kent and Essex. But it’s over capacity, and on its busiest day it’s used by more than 180,000 vehicle a day, far more than the 135,000 it’s designed for.

“The crossing will almost double road capacity across the Thames, creating a connection that will take 13 million vehicles off the Dartford Crossing each year.”