Cross-party support for Lower Dartford Crossing meeting

THERE is cross-party support for this month’s public meeting discussing Highways England plans for the Lower Thames Crossing.

The meeting, on Monday, 25 January (6.30pm for a 7pm start) will be at the Orsett Hall – another public meeting is scheduled for next month in South Ockendon.

A panel including Council Leader Cllr John Kent, Cllr Graham Snell, and the council’s Director of Planning and Transportation David Bull will be making presentations and answering questions from the floor in a meeting independently chaired by James Whale of BBC Essex.

At November’s meeting of the council it unanimously supported a motion saying members were against “government plans for a further river crossing in Thurrock” and that it was committed “to continue campaigning, alongside local residents, on this issue”.

This week, Cllr Kent said: “We had been told the nationwide consultation was planned for early in January, but things seem to be slipping. Nonetheless, we believe it is important we keep everyone informed about what is going on and we will provide as much information as we can.”

Conservative Leader Rob Gledhill said “All parties at Thurrock Council have twice voted unanimously against having another Thames crossing in the borough. The threat associated to our green belt, our health and heritage must be robustly rejected and we will keep up the pressure on the Highways Agency and Government to look for alternatives.”

And Cllr Snell – leader of the UKIP group on the council – said: “This is an issue of huge importance to Thurrock. All three political parties have come together in the fight against the increased congestion and air pollution another crossing in our borough would bring.”

Maps of what the council believes will be Highways England’s latest options and details of their latest thinking will be available at the meeting and Mr Bull said that although plans for a nationwide consultation on the crossing appeared to have been delayed, he was certain “we shall see those proposals in the next few days or weeks”.

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