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Council leader: £150million junction improvement scheme is "cheap short-term fix”
12:03pm Thursday 6th December 2012 in News
THURROCK Council’s leader John Kent said he is “disappointed” at the amount of money the Government wants to spend on upgrading the M25 in Thurrock.
Chancellor George Osborne announced yesterday that more than £150million will be spent on improvements at junction 30, just north of the Dartford Crossing, in a bid to ease the near-constant congestion caused by the bridge, Lakeside Shopping Centre, and the Port of Tilbury.
The scheme is one of four nationally, which the Government is spending a total of £1billion on.
Work in Thurrock is expected to start in 2015.
Cllr Kent branded the £150million a “cheap short-term fix.”
He said: “I really doubt that £150 million is anywhere near enough to get a proper solution to the congestion we suffer day in and day out because of the problems with Junction 30.
“Given the state of economy we must make sure we get the improvements right first time - and right now with the full scheme, otherwise business will suffer.
“Not just Thurrock businesses, but Great Britain plc as so much of our nation’s commerce flows through Thurrock.
“We don't want a 'cheap' short-term fix and then have to come back later, we need the real deal, now.”
Conservative MP Jackie Doyle-Price called John Kent’s reaction to the news “partisan”.
She said: “ “The chancellor has done exactly what the labour leader's motion in council asked for last week.
“He should be thanking the Government for this crucial investment.
“His response is disappointingly partisan.
“If he was a bigger man he would give credit where credit is due instead of trying to play politics.”
She added: “At £150million this is the most expensive junction improvement scheme ever.
“By comparison it is three times what has been spent at Sadlers Farm.
“Make no mistake, this is a serious project, it fulfils what business across south Essex has been calling out for.
“Labour had thirteen years to sort out road infrastructure and did nothing.
“We will not duck the challenge of making our road infrastructure fit to support our economy in the 21st century.
“Happy Christmas John, do yourself a favour and take a lesson from Scrooge, far from humbug this is good news - share in the goodwill.”