THURROCK Council’s Leader has thanked the hundreds of people who have taken part in online and paper polls about future river crossings in the borough.
As the government’s consultation on a new Thames crossing in Thurrock approaches, Cllr John Kent said: “Over 800 people have had their say and there’s one overwhelming conclusion: we don’t want another crossing here. I want to thank each and every one of them for sharing their opinion.”
The council asked people to vote online through its own website, or on paper forms published in two local newspaper giving the three options the government is thought to be suggesting, A, B, and C, as well as a fourth option, D – none of the above.
Ckllr Kent said: “The national consultation is expected to be launched inside the next few days and indications are that the three options – close to the current crossing between Purfleet and Dartford; across the river through Grays Beach and close to the docks and Thurrock Park to the Dock Approach Road; or further to the east between Tilbury and Coalhouse Forts then north through the Green Belt, and Orsett – will be all that’s on offer. We’ll see.”
But he added: “Over 610 people voted online and 407 of them – 66.4 per cent – voted None of the Above, and of the 205 people who cut out and filled in a form before sending it in to us, 169 (82.4 per cent) wanted Option D.”
He said: “The aim of the exercise was two-fold, to confirm what the council believed local people thought, and it’s done that, and secondly, but more importantly, to raise awareness of the government’s intention to consult.
“River crossings have been in the news this week, with the focus on possible new bridge links between south and north east London. Perhaps that needs to be sorted out properly before a new strategic crossing is discussed.
“Unfortunately I don’t think the government will change its plans and there will be some form of consultation about a crossing in Thurrock and it will start soon. I urge everyone who took part in our little exercise over the last couple of months to tell the government what they think.
“When we see the details of their proposals, the council will make an official response and we will also let people know what we think of the options given. An internet link to the consultation will also be available on the home page of our website.”
Cllr Kent said: “There will be a couple of exhibitions from the Department of Transport in the borough and we too will be trying to engage face-to-face with local people. Remember, the government will look at the national picture, so we need to make as much noise as possible to be heard.
“If you’re on Twitter, look out for the chance to have your say and the same with Facebook too. I am sure there will be plenty of opportunities and plenty of different ways to get our message across.”