THE LEADER of Thurrock Council has written to Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, asking when the government will announce the outcome of their Lower Thames Crossing consultation.
The result was expected last month, but was delayed. It is believed the government ministerial reshuffle may have been the reason.
The council ran a successful campaign asking local people to take part in the three-option consultation and to support None of the Above. The council had unanimously supported this position and its official consultation response explained the reasons behind it.
On Wednesday (6 November), council Leader Cllr John Kent sent a letter to Mr McLoughlin.
It stated: “I am writing to express my disappointment about the delay in you announcing the outcome of the consultation on the Lower Thames Crossing, and to seek some clarity on when Thurrock’s fate will be announced.
“We had been led to believe that your decision was to have been made in the late summer, but I understand it is not now expected for quite some time.”
The letter says: “This is very disappointing for me personally, for the council as a whole and for the people of Thurrock. We need to know what the government is planning so we can fully consider our position.
“More than that, leaving all three options open blights a swathe of the borough’s river frontage from the west of the current crossing, through Tilbury Docks and further to the east. It also leaves thousands of people concerned about whether their home will be in the path of any new crossing.
“While I hope that this delay means you and your government are considering other options, as suggested by my council’s response to the consultation and the responses of many Thurrock people, including our Conservative MPs, the time for an announcement is now.”
Cllr Kent said: “I also asked the Secretary of State to give at least an approximate date for his announcement so local people will know where they stand.”