THURROCK MP Jackie Doyle-Price has called for a “mature debate” on the borough’s traffic woes and said that “some need to stop behaving like ostriches”.
She believes Thurrock’s road network is handling more traffic than it can cope with, causing hazardous driving and gridlock.
And she added investment needs to be made into the traffic infrastructure.
The MP, pictured, led the charge for major improvement works at junction 30 and 31 of the M25, which were announced in the Chancellor’s autumn statement.
She said: “Our road network is handling traffic volumes which are too high to cope with making driving more hazardous. When things do happen the whole of Thurrock becomes gridlocked.
“This is significant because of Thurrock’s position in the strategic road network, our vibrant logistics industry, the volumes of motorists accessing Lakeside and, of course, local users.
“I have placed much emphasis on securing the improvements to J30 and 31 and this Government is not ducking the issue of new river crossings.
“Failure to tackle this before now has led to these dangerous driving conditions, excessive congestion and costs to our economy.
“It is time some stop behaving like ostriches [burying their head in the sand] and have a mature debate about what needs to be done to keep our roads moving.”
The Highways Agency is responsible for looking after the parts of the M25 and A13 that go through Thurrock, as well as the trunk roads that join them. A spokesman said: “The Highways Agency is committed to safe roads and our network has a good safety record. “The roads we manage in Thurrock have a rigorous safety inspection and maintenance regime. We also have a tested winter maintenance programme.
“We work to clear up incidents and reopen our roads as soon as it is safe to do so.
“We take part in any relevant investigations and any data suggesting a change to road layout would deliver safety benefits is carefully considered.”
Thurrock Council spends £3million every year ensuring the rest of the borough’s roads are safe. A spokesman said: “The council has made no secret of its desire to see junctions 30 and 31 of the M25 fully improved as soon as possible and, in addition, the possibility of east-facing slip roads to the A13 from the A128 at Lakeside.
“The council delivers schemes based on accident data, which identifies areas of the network that require attention. It also works with the Highways Agency on road safety issues.
“The council’s road safety team delivers a package of promotional and educational measures that identify safety issues to local people. This package has seen accidents fall in recent years.”