THE government is expected to launch its consultation on four potential Thames crossing routes in the borough early in the New Year.
Following the success of its own meetings last year, Thurrock Council is again planning public meetings to discuss the proposals in January and February.
The first will be at the Orsett Hall on the evening of Monday, 25 January and the second at the Culver Centre, Daiglen Drive South Ockendon on Thursday, 25 February
Council leader Cllr John Kent, said: “At the moment we’re still a bit in the dark over the plan details being proposed by Highways England. We have a fair idea what they are looking at, but until we have those details it is difficult to be precise in our responses.
“However, despite back tracking by some, Thurrock Councillors backed our policy of opposition to any new crossing in our borough one hundred per cent recently.
“None of the above is still Thurrock’s message.”
He added: “As well as coming along to one or other of our meetings I would urge everyone who cares about Thurrock to make sure the government and Highways England are in no doubt about our feelings.
“As I said last week, even a 15-kilometre tunnel under the borough is unlikely to ease our concerns … and somehow I can’t see the government stumping up for that anyway.
“It will be important we don’t simply say ‘no’, we have to explain why – more gridlock on the borough’s streets, the danger to life from increased air pollution, the ruination of quality of life through the extra noise, and, by no means least, the destruction of our green belt and our history.”
Cllr Kent said he expected Highways England and government to claim Thurrock would benefit from another crossing through extra business investment.
Cllr Kent explained that the two public meetings will hear the council’s opinion on the proposals, but added: “To be fair, we will once again invite Highways England to come along and explain themselves.
“Whether they come or not we’ll just have to wait and see,” he said.
Both of the borough’s MPs have also been invited to attend said Cllr Kent.