THE Leader of Thurrock Council has slammed Highways England and their contractors Connect Plus for their failure to clean two of the borough’s major roads.
“This is a double blow for the council,” said Cllr John Kent on Tuesday (15 March) after meeting representatives from both organisations.
“First, everybody thinks it is the council’s job to clean up all Thurrock’s roads. It is not.
“Nobody would expect Thurrock Council to close lanes on the M25 to clear the verges and central reservation. We’re simply not allowed to do it.
“The same is true of Highways England’s stretch of the A13 and the Dock Approach Road. It is their highway, they are responsible for repairing and cleaning it, and they have to give permission for the necessary lane closures.
“That isn’t to say we don’t clean out bit of the A13 from the Dock Approach to the Five Bells, we did so on Monday night when we shut the east-bound lanes overnight for repairs.
He added: “The second problem is that the Highways England-controlled roads in Thurrock – the crossing, the M25, the A13 from Wennington, and the A1089 Dock Approach Road – are some of busiest roads in the whole region.
“At a time when we are trying to promote Thurrock to a wider audience, a time when we want business to look at us and invest here, a time when we want to look our best, their failure to do their job is hindering and not helping our efforts.
“Not content with threatening our future prosperity with a Thames crossing we believe will obstruct our exciting growth plans instead of boosting them; Highways England is putting obstacles in the way of our short term plans too.
“What’s worse is that these roads are mainly used by people who have little or no interest in our borough; it’s just a place to travel through from A to B. They don’t care and so they don’t think twice about littering and worse.
“That means it is all the more important organisations like Highways England and Connect Plus live up to their responsibilities and clean our roads.”