RIVER boats, rapid transport bus systems and even trams feature in Thurrock’s ambitious transport plans.
An update on the borough’s transport strategy which will be debated by the planning transport and regeneration overview and scrutiny committee next week, includes to “strengthen the river as a transport artery”.
This will allow new, direct links to central London, inner and outer east London, Essex and Kent riverside, and the Thames Estuary.
The plans include riverside stations and improved riverboat piers and ferry services. This may include “Park and glide” ferry services combining remote parking with ferry links to town centres.
The strategy also includes plans for a Bus Rapid Transport system where high-speed buses travelling on streets and dedicated bus lanes that can switch to dedicated tracks/guided rails between urban areas.
These can use systems such as light railway’s like Docklands Light Railway and tram lines such as Croydon Tram Link, travelling on rails through streets and on dedicated rail lines.
Thurrock Council says it will also work with Network Rail and train operating companies to renew and enhance the existing rail network. This will include new and improved stations, longer trains, new junctions, and signalling.
There are also plans for designated routes which can only be accessed by buses. Overall the aim of the strategy is to discourage car use and encourage more walking and cycling.
A report to the committee said: “An accessible and inclusive network will offer better access to employment and educational opportunities and other vital services, particularly those in disadvantaged groups or areas.
“The thrust of the accessibility strategy will be to improve accessibility by walking, cycling, and public transport to vital services and facilities, especially further education, employment, and hospitals, with interventions that prioritise inclusive design at all stages. The priority will be to improve accessibility where deprivation is most apparent and where significant growth can be delivered sustainably.”
It added it would encourage “a shift from car use combined with encouraging more people to use public transport for most or all of their journey, cleaning up the air and reducing road danger” and reducing the need to travel.
The committee will meet on Tuesday.