The day of utter chaos on Thurrock roads

MONDAY February 8th may go down as one of the worst days on the roads in Thurrock for a very long time. Then again, that is what we all said about Thursday January 28th.

At worst, people were stuck in their cars for close to eight hours.

The QE2 bridge was closed due to high winds (Storm Imogen). This case might also be argued.

Closure of the bridge seems to come in waves. Looking back at our archive it was closed on a number of occasions in late 2013 and early 2014 and then nothing for almost two years.

But as darkness fell, the crux of the matter seemed to be about traffic management.

There appeared to be key points in the road network that needed assistance.

We spoke to Essex Police (informally) after the chaos in late January and there attitude seemed to be that they were not going to be out directing traffic but to many people, that was exactly what was needed at certain spots.

Mike Jones, who got stuck on the Purfleet Road said: "I have no problem with the bridge being closed due to high winds

"I moved over and under the M25 at various points tonight and the bridge is not the problem. Junction 30 is down to one lane and Junction 31 is just totally overrun

"Strange that there was no traffic heading west on the A13 or A1306 past M25. Would have expected to see some sort of traffic control in place. It’s about time that Lakeside had a slip road exit eastbound and a entry slip from the east.

We do feel for the people, woman on their own, people with young children, who became very agitated and distressed.

Praise must go to organisations such as Ensign Buses, who did their very best to keep people informed and, by all reports, had drivers out directing traffic near Lakeside.

We also heard that Dominos were handing out Pizza.

The arguments will rage on as to whether this is evidence that another crossing is needed. But what appears to be undeniable is that in the interests of public safety, public reassurance and getting hard working people to and for from work safely, then someone or some organisation needs to put its foot on the proverbial ball.

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