THURROCK Council Leader, Cllr John Kent, says he is disappointed the government consultation of the Thames Crossing does not offer a None of the above option.
Speaking on Tuesday (21 May), Cllr Kent said: “Our own poll over the past few months has made it perfectly clear we do not want any more crossings in our borough.”
But he added: “I’ve only had a chance to have a quick look at the consultation documents. There is no None of the above, but there is an ‘Other’ option.
“When Thurrock Council puts in its response, it will be under that Other option.”
The online consultation can be reached quickly through the council’s home page (www.thurrock.gov.uk) and offers opportunities for people to make their views known.
Cllr Kent said: “Over recent weeks there have been several other developments which seem to support our main point – it’s not that we don’t want a new crossing, it’s that neither we, nor our country needs one.
“With plans for a crossing in east London, talk about strategic links to the strange Boris Island airport, and investment at the current choke points – free-flow tolls at Dartford and at least some investment at Junction 30 – is a new crossing really necessary?
“All I want is a sensible discussion; one that takes all the options into consideration, not some sort of ad hoc debate which concentrates on various headline-grabbing schemes – to get that, everyone needs to tick the ‘Other’ box and say why.”
He added that in the coming days, Thurrock Council’s transport team would be examining all the government’s documents – it would be impossible to come up with a detailed engineering and costed counter argument to the proposals at this stage.”
He said: “It’s all very well having a consultation about lines on a map that won’t appear as roads on the ground for ten years or more if it simply suggests a major infrastructure project.
“But, as I have been saying for months now, what is badly needed is investment now, especially at Junction 30, to release Thurrock’s own growth agenda.
“The minister was at Tilbury this morning – he knows what is needed and it isn’t just lines and arrows on a map. That means blight for Thurrock people’s homes; that means uncertainty for Thurrock’s businesses; and it poses the question: have all the options been considered, including no new crossing?”