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Petitions against controversial transport proposals in Kent halted by general election

PUBLISHED: 11:03 02 May 2017

Petitions are being closed from tonight until after the general election

Petitions are being closed from tonight until after the general election

Gajus

Thousands have voiced their opposition to the Lower Thames Crossing decision and planned changes to rail services

Petitions gathering hundreds of signatures by the day against controversial transport proposals in Kent are being stopped in their tracks by the general election.

Thousands have already voiced their opposition to government suggestions such as changes to rail services in the county, and the decision to locate the Lower Thames Crossing east of Gravesend.

However, the online petitions are to be closed at midnight tonight when parliament officially dissolves ahead of the election on June 8.

The government is obliged to respond to petitions with 10,000 signatures, while those which reach 100,000 signatures must be considered for a debate in parliament.

Thus far, more than 2,500 have signed a document calling on the government to change the Lower Thames Crossing decision.

It is the latest act of defiance against last month’s announcement, after campaigners accused Highways England of manipulating data, and MP Adam Holloway admitted he was “not bothered” by the prospect of losing his Gravesham seat, insisting he felt the decision was bigger than politics.

Elsewhere, campaigners are warning small stations in Kent could close in future as they voiced opposition against proposals in which some services between Tonbridge and Ashford would no longer stop at intermediate stations.

More than 5,000 have signed that petition, which is one of the fastest-growing in the country this week.

Meanwhile, some 27,000 have voiced concern over plans to make services from Dartford terminate at London Cannon Street only, rather than several different termini in the capital.

In its official response, the Department for Transport confirmed it is “not proposing to cut specific services” as it asked whether passengers would support the principle of reducing the choice of London termini served from individual stations to provide a more regular timetable and reliable service.

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