IMPROVEMENTS to the A13 in Thurrock are coming closer and that’s good news says council leader, Cllr John Kent.
Next Wednesday (5 November) evening’s meeting of the council’s cabinet is expected to back plans to prepare the way for widening the road from two to three lanes each way between The Manorway and the Orsett Cock roundabouts.
“The people of Thurrock have been calling for this for more than a decade,” said Cllr Kent. “Now at last the money is in sight and we can start to get things moving.
“I’m not suggesting building work will start tomorrow, but we are in a position to start finding the specialists needed to do the design work, to look at the flora and fauna issues and what needs doing there, and basically to get everything ready for the real work to begin.”
A report to cabinet states that at Â£1Â½ billion, the “A13 growth corridor is the largest single growth opportunity in the South East Local Enterprise Partnership”.
It adds: “The A13 links the key port infrastructure of Tilbury and London Gateway Port with the M25 at Junction 31. It is vital for sustaining growth in one of the most dynamic regions in the UK and without investment it could impede growth across the wider UK economy.”
Cllr Kent said: “We all know the A13 is at capacity. We’ve known that for years. We all know that the London Gateway port will put thousands of extra lorries on that stretch of road. We’ve known that for years too.
“Now at last we have a promise of the Â£5 million needed to get things moving – and the government recognising that a further Â£80 million more is needed to actually build the scheme.”
He said: “We’re working closely with London Gateway port so the first small steps can be taken quickly so we’ll be ready when the starter’s gun fires.
“In just a few years’ time this scheme will help ensure Thurrock can achieve the exciting future we have planned. Sorting out this comparatively short stretch of road will – crossing and junctions 30 and 31 allowing – open up the east-west corridor and provide the road infrastructure necessary for the proposals at Thames Enterprise Park, London Gateway, the Port of London, Lakeside and Purfleet.
“The widening of the A13 is a key piece in the jigsaw we at Thurrock Council are putting together with all our various partners to bring Thurrock the exciting, sustainable and aspirational future it deserves.”