BBC KENT dedicated a whole breakfast show on Monday morning to discussing the options for a new Thames crossing. Council after council and business after business discussed where they thought it should be and what were the advantages for them.
In the end, Thurrock’s stand-alone policy, made the borough appear like Britain on the map at the beginning of Dads Army.
Thurrock MP, Jackie Doyle-Price has today issued a challenge to Thurrock council leader John Kent regarding the proposals for a new river crossing in Thurrock. Jackie has called on the council to make a study of the impact on Thurrock’s road network and air quality of the various options under consideration.
Jackie said, “Whilst I am pleased that the Council is opposing the proposals under consideration, it simply isn’t good enough to say no – we need to be proposing alternatives and making a clear case as to why the options under consideration are not right.”
“Also, it is a synthetic argument to call for things which are already happening – the introduction of free-flow tolling and improvements to Junction 30 are already scheduled to take place.”
“I have made it a priority to engage with Ministers to secure the transport improvements we need in order to thrive and the Government has made £150m available for improvements to J30.
So I am rather surprised to hear the leader of the council call for £1/2 a billion pounds to be spent on Junction 30/31. Where does this figure come from? I have never seen any proposals from Thurrock Borough Council. His comments are no more than hot air. He really should be thanking the Chancellor instead of engaging in cheap party politics.
“We do need to get real on the long term need for more crossings east of Tower Bridge. The reason there is so much congestion at Dartford is because there are not enough crossings. I believe that we need more crossings between Blackwall and Dartford and we need to explore options for a new outer ring road downstream, supported by a tunnel.”
“I have demanded that any new crossing must have a material impact on congestion at Dartford; it must not add to congestion on Thurrock’s road network and it must not lead to more motorways through Thurrock’s greenbelt. It would be helpful if the council used its highways engineers and environmental health officers to assemble the evidence of the impact on air quality and on the local road network of the three options. That would martial a strong set of arguments to support ‘no’ to all the proposals.”