FOLLOWING the publication of Highways England’s Lower Thames Crossing on the day after Thurrock Council’s Orsett Hall meeting, the council reconsidered where its second meeting should be.
The council has now liaised with the Port of Tilbury to hold 25 February’s meeting at Tilbury Cruise Terminal – less than a mile from the proposed crossing tunnel and dual carriageway.
All Thurrock Councillors have unanimously called for any new motorway link to cross the Thames east of the borough – the Options D and E from the 2009 proposals.
Leader of the Council, Cllr John Kent, said: “We had planned to follow the same process as we did in 2014, but now Option A has been taken off the table we feel a more central venue is better.
“Ockendon will still be seriously affected, but Tilbury, Chadwell and the villages at East and West Tilbury, Orsett, Horndon and Bulphan all have issues too.
“We want somewhere large enough to hold those interested and we had already organised Thursday, 25 February, as a date in MPs’, councillors’ and Highways England’s diaries. The Civic Hall was unavailable and so the Cruise Terminal seemed the next best option.”
Leader of the Conservative opposition group on the council, Cllr Rob Gledhill, said: “The council is united in its opposition to the Highways England proposals. As more details about the proposals become available the more apparent the dreadful effect it will have on Thurrock becomes clear.
“Speaking to residents about the proposed crossing all of Saturday it is clear there is still confusion as to what is planned.
“So I would urge as many residents as possible to attend the meeting or one of the other consultation presentations.”
Cllr Graham Snell, leader of the council’s UKIP group, added: “This event will be half way through the Highways England consultation process. People should come along and learn what the council is doing, what the MPs are saying and what Highways England are thinking.”
More details of who will be at the event will be released later along with an approximate agenda for the evening – 6.30pm for 7pm until 9pm – which will again be compared by BBC Essex’s James Whale.