Letter to Editor: Why Port of Tilbury Boss supports Option C

Dear Sirs,

Lower Thames Crossing consultation: future proofing Thurrock

As Thurrock’s biggest employer and London’s major port, I wanted to share the Port of Tilbury’s views on the Lower Thames Crossing consultation. While we recognise that this road scheme is unpopular, we believe that it is imperative that Thurrock extracts maximum value from this project.

The port supports Option C, but with the proviso that the proposed crossing and new road through Thurrock provides a real step-change in the connectivity to-and-from the port, while improving the local road network.

We are calling for a new road junction to be located where all the proposed option C routes (2, 3 and 4) diverge near East Tilbury. This proposal is not within the draft Highways England schemes.

This junction is needed to: improve connectivity to the current port estate and our proposed new port expansion at the former Tilbury Power Station site; add another outlet for the port’s growing road traffic; and provide much needed operational resilience to the port’s operations, with associated relief for the local road network, including residential areas.

There are 125 businesses within the Port of Tilbury employing approaching 20 per cent of Thurrock’s working population, with the business set to double over the next 15 to 20 years.

When built out and fully operational in 2017, the development of the 70-acre port estate extension to the north west off the Asda roundabout, the London Distribution Park, alone will add 4,000 permanent jobs to the local workforce, while the former Tilbury Power Station site is attracting substantial commercial interest from existing and new customers.

On behalf of our many employees in the borough, the port calls on Highways England to deliver a new crossing and road that minimises the environmental and air quality impacts, while delivering a step change in the connectivity, resilience and economic potential of the Tilbury area.

Perry Glading, Port of Tilbury, February 2016

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