THURROCK Council is planning to provide written and verbal evidence to Parliament’s Transport Committee inquiry into strategic river crossings.
Council Leader, Cllr John Kent, said: “We’ve been calling on the government to look again at its plans for a new Lower Thames Crossing.
“We’ve been saying for years that the effects of free-flow tolls should be looked at very carefully before the need to build a new crossing was decided; we’ve been saying that the effects of a fully-financed redesign of both Junctions 30 and 31 should also be taken into account.”
Cllr Kent said: “To support our case we’ll need to show how strong local opinion is, so I would again urge everyone who has not signed our online petition to do so. We’ve very nearly reached a thousand signatories, we need a lot more – go to the council’s website and follow the links from Travel and Transport.”
He added: “We have also constantly asked the government TO fully examine the possibilities of creating crossings further to the east instead of dismissing them out of hand.
“And, considering the clamour in the capital for another crossing in east London, that effect of congestion here also needs to be looked at closely.
“The purpose of this committee inquiry is to look closely at the planning, financing and any regenerative effects of different river crossings in the UK, and that shouldn’t be done without full consideration of Thurrock’s position.
“We have three crossings here and the plan is still for there to be a fourth; we have had a ‘strategic’ crossing since the early 60s; and to be honest we’re fed up to the back teeth with the congestion and the pollution it causes; we’re fed up with the delays local people have to factor into their day-to-day lives; and we’ve had enough.
“Thurrock will be providing detailed evidence to this committee and we will be asking to be able to give evidence verbally too.”
He said: “It’s important that government joins up all its thinking – realising that the proper infrastructure is in place to deliver new jobs and provide new homes – that means an end to congestion new, rather tghan in ten years’ time, or more.