A coalition of businesses and freight groups have signed a letter urging the chancellor to make up his mind on the preferred route for the Lower Thames Crossing.

They say a new crossing would make a significant contribution towards two of the country’s most significant economic challenges – the need to increase productivity and levels of exporting.

The letter highlighted DfT figures, which estimated that traffic through “the highly unreliable Dartford crossings” will grow by 41% over the next 20 years.

It added: “It is imperative that we have high quality infrastructure to help alleviate this bottleneck to maintain fluidity and allow us to boost trade and compete with the continent.

“Businesses across the South East, Midlands and the North need reliable journey times to make critically important operational decisions which rely on just-in-time processes for trade and commerce.”

Signatories include DP World, the FTA, RHA, Eurotunnel and Essex Chamber of Commerce.