Friday, May 17, 2024
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Thurrock Labour question "secret plans" to close level crossings

THE leader of the Labour Party in Thurrock is demanding to know what the council is doing about Network Rail’s plans to close three pedestrian level crossings in the borough.

Cllr John Kent said: "All Councillors were informed about these plans at the start of the week and – more importantly – that Network Rail planned no consultation events in Thurrock."

He said: "I have asked senior council officers what representations they have made to Network Rail on this but have not had a substantive response."

He said: "Cllr Brian Little, the Tories’ transport chief, should be demanding Network Rail hold an event here and publicise it properly.

"We all remember how Network Rail tired to sneak through the closure of the Grays level crossing last summer. We fought hard and successfully against that, despite our Tory MP’s indifference, although that threat has still not gone away.

"That’s why it is so important Cllr Little and the whole council demands Network Rail talks with local people about their plans. If they are successful in ignoring the good people of Thurrock this time, they’ll think they can get away with it in future."

Network Rail is looking to close the pedestrian crossings at Purfleet, The Homesteads, and Fobbing and claims it only has to hold a consultation event within 10 miles to abide by the rules.

An event is planned for New Windmill Hall, St Mary’s Lane, Upminster, RM14 2QH, on Wednesday, 22 June from 2.30pm until 7pm.

Cllr Kent said: "Network Rail believe these crossings are little used, but that’s not the point. We mustn’t allow Network Rail to ride roughshod and ignore ‘little old Thurrock’ when we should be representing the people of this borough, getting in the face of Network Rail, and demanding a consultation event here, and ensuring it is properly advertised.

"Is it too much to ask that this newly elected administration accepts its responsibilities and acts on behalf of Thurrock?

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