LONDON mayor Boris Johnson continues to ignore the views of Thurrock people about a new airport and another Thames crossing, says Thurrock Council Leader, Cllr John Kent.
Mayor Johnson responded to a letter from Cllr Kent earlier this month in which he admits there will be impacts on Thurrock and claims the effects of a “hub airport to the east of London will be overwhelmingly positive”.
On Tuesday (20 August), Cllr Kent said: “Mayor Johnson mentions a meeting in Tunbridge Wells – this would be meeting chaired by our director of planning and transport where it emerged Transport for London admitted at least 30,000 Thurrock homes – about half of all homes in the borough – would be affected by noise from his new airport proposal.
“Quite how this would endear him to Thurrock people I’m not sure.”
Cllr Kent added: “He claims he’s sorry I feel ‘aggrieved’ about his proposals and his support for Option C … somehow I think he’s not, really.
“His thoughts on Option C are very clear; he sees it taking traffic from the south coast ports to London avoiding the current crossing bottleneck – strangely not from Essex to Kent, but only northbound!
“He sees ‘economic benefits’ but dismisses Thurrock’s concerns by saying ‘it is important the detailed alignment of the route is designed in a way that minimises any adverse impacts on local communities’. I really want to see those designs as would anybody interested in Thurrock’s people, its history and its future.
“I’m sorry, it can’t be done. Any adverse impact is too much adverse impact on our borough.
“And then there’s Mr Johnson’s comments about London Gateway, claiming Option C would be of ‘great benefit’ to the new super-port.
“I’m afraid his recent interest and visit to the port just shows he’s finally woken up to what Thurrock is offering. Although there are details still to sort out about the new port’s traffic and rail plans, another river crossing in Thurrock is not and never has been part or the proposals.
“Mr Johnson doesn’t seem to realise that the advantage of having a major new container port and logistics hub here in the Thames is so much more efficient; it brings the goods close to their main market in London and the south east of Britain.
“London Gateway is exactly what it says on the sign – the gateway for goods into London!”
Cllr Kent concluded: “I realise the London mayor is using the Thames-side airport and support for Option C for publicity reasons, unfortunately it impacts adversely on Thurrock, Thurrock people and Thurrock business. We’re telling business Thurrock is the place to be. Mr Johnson says it’s the place to drive through or fly over.
“His proposals are not only not thought through; they really are counter productive for his beloved London.
“The capital needs Thurrock working at full capacity with its new homes, new jobs, new ports and new shops along with an efficient east-west and north-south transport system. Without this London and the south east will grind to a halt.”