Monday, September 26, 2022

Council leader angry over government’s reverse on free-flow tolls

THE LEADER of Thurrock Council, cllr John Kent has reacted angrily to the latest delays over free-flow tolling at the Thames river crossing.

Speaking on Monday he said: “Officers from our Transport team at Thurrock met with officials from the Highways Authority last week.

“We were hoping for good news over the crossing. We hoped the government had come to its senses, but no … we were hoping too much.

“Not only have they thrown away the chance of free crossings during the Olympics, helping ensure a congestion free Games, they have now said that free-flow tolling, first promised for 2012, then for 2013, would not now happen until October 2014!

“That’s a minimum of two-and-a-half years of guaranteed Friday night, Christmas and bank holiday queues and a minimum two-and-a-half years of jams and hold-ups when there’s the slightest hitch on the motorway.”

He added: “I am getting well and truly fed up with the government making good news announcements and then quietly, behind the scenes, backtracking.

“If government ministers can announce so-called; ’good news’ stories like: We’re supporting free-flow tolling at the crossing; then they should be fully honest and up-front when they backtrack.

“They’ve now put it back until October 2014, presumably that’ll mean 2015 or 2016 or never!

“They don’t seem to realise that it would be not only far cheaper to install the free-flow tolling and fix Junction 30/31 than would be to build a new crossing adding further to the congestion and pollution suffered by people in Thurrock.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. Here we go again, a Labour Councillor bleating about the tolls when his own party did absolutley nothing to get rid of these during there many years in powwer.

    Do us all a favour Cllr Kent get back down off the soapbox and look at what your own party failed to implement before blaming others, you are starting to sound like a typical labour party member who has forgotten everything before 2010.

  2. Yes Lambo, here we go again!
    Don’t let any Labour Councillor or Politician ever forget; everything wrong in this country is your fault. Especially near voting time!

  3. Well said Lambo abit far right, but never the less, you have also forgotten what you set out to say, still I suppose the Labour party are now in for a, kick up the dairy air, over there lack luster performance so far, they cant even control there own councillors, who seem to take themselfs off to attend, there own little selected groups, such as the SORA group of so called, voice for all South Ockendon residents, but really we all know that they only support, the flowers estate and the Ockendon ward, and leave the Belhus ward to stew for the last three years, and they have the cheek to rear there heads, every local election, at least the Tory councillors, try to help even if it isnt in there, own areas or ward, the QE2 Bridge and the Two tunnels are a complete disaster, but a good fat cash cow for the government, they have no intentions to drop the charges, no matter what the reason, we were told that when the QE2 bridge had been for then they would drop the charges, that was back in 1999, by 2001 and one they told us that another tunnel had to be built, to allow for an increase in traffic, and when that was paid for , they would look at the charges, 2004, they had to build new office and messing facilities for the many people who work there, 2006, a new pledge that the government would stop the tolls or at least half the cost to ordinary motorist but not for commercial traffic, and we are now in 2012 and we are still moaning about the charges, so what do they do, they make it cheaper for anybody with a car or lorry to by making it a token charge but you have to live in Thurrock or Dartford to get the discount, the 2012 Games in London Stratford will of course disrupt not only local traffic on the A13 and the A127 and the A12 but the A2 and M25 for miles in every direction, its going to be absolute murder to get around by road if you are travelling towards London early morning or evening, and like wise coming from London to Thurrock or Southend, the Blackwell Tunnels get congested every morning of the week and often closed for repairs every weekend, is every other road around the tunnels, so I dont really see, what if anything the QE2 tolls are going to do to stop all this traffic building up with no where to go, what ever party is in power.

  4. The last bit of Danny’s paragraph is spot on. Whoever is in power will struggle to lift the tolls and allow toll free driving due to the amount of revenue received from them. Blair and Brown both refused to lift the tolls or even discuss electronic tolling so John Kent seems to be forgetting that his own party refused to do anything about the crossing.

    As much as I would like to see the tolls gone completely, or charged at a bare minimum at least this government has said they will introduce electronic tolling at some point which is better than doing nothing.

    I really am fed up of Labour denying everything that had happened pre 2010. It goes to show that the party, both nationally and locally, really do think the voters are stupid. They really are the party of double standards.

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