THURROCK Business Board Chair, Marc Myers, is cautiously optimistic that today’s Lower Thames Crossing announcement will be the real beginning in the long journey of unlocking Thurrock for future growth and ambition.
Speaking on the day that Government minister, Chris Grayling, announced the agreed crossing route (Option C – route three), he said: “Although I’m very pleased to hear the decision – I am cautious that the timings and schedules which have been self-imposed by Highways England are not being met and I hope it bears no link to how Highways England intend to approach the delivery of this project going forward.
“The Thurrock Business Board has not wavered in its belief that the current Dartford crossing is over-subscribed, we as a nation are over-reliant on the crossing, and we locally, have all had to bear witness to the chaos which descends across the borough in particularly businesses in the West of the borough, when a problem occurs.
“The business board has previously commented how the Dartford Crossing is currently operating at 108% of its design capacity and projections by the Department for Transport estimate traffic will grow by 41% over the next 20 years.
“The current crossing handles more than 140,000 vehicles each day – 50% of which are freight vehicles.
“Simply, the Thurrock business community should be looking at the proposal as an opportunity to remove these vehicles from the local road network, increase regeneration and growth potential and become known as the logistics central hub for the UK, which will bring with it job prosperity and regeneration.”
Mr Myers added on behalf of Thurrock business “these ambitions could stall if more is not done to accelerate investment in Thurrock and South East’s transport infrastructure. Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction.”