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Kent riles Kent over Option C
3:00pm Thursday 17th January 2013 in News
THURROCK Council’s leader said the authority is sticking to its stance that a new Lower Thames Crossing should not run through the borough.
Labour councillor John Kent spoke out after Kent County Council’s director of planning and environment, Paul Crick, said he believed the Government’s Option C, which would cut through Thurrock’s green belt with a new motorway in West Tilbury and Orsett, was the best way forward.
The Department for Transport is expected to launch a consultation on options for a third river crossing, designed to ease congestion at the Dartford Crossing, in May.
Cllr Kent, pictured, said Thurrock Council is united in being entirely against any new crossing in the borough, and option C in particular.
He said: “The council is against any further river crossing in Thurrock, and option C would be incredibly damaging, cutting straight through miles of Thurrock’s green belt.
"I was really pleased when the full council unanimously supported my motion against another crossing in Thurrock, and we now need to start building up a strong case against any plans for this.
“We are clear that when the consultation is launched, there must be a fourth option for there to be no new crossing at all.”
Cllr Kent is also calling for the consultation to take place before May.
He said: “We know the Government is planning to launch a consultation after the county council elections in May. What we would prefer to see is a consultation now, rather than delaying it.
“It’s putting a cloud over people’s homes and quality of life – we need some clarity on this.“ There are three options on the table for a new crossing.
* Option A would see an additional road built at the existing Dartford Crossing, and the crossing’s tunnels removed from the strategic road network.
* Option B is for a new road crossing in the Swanscombe Peninsula area, connecting the A2 near Dartford to the A1089 road, north of Tilbury Docks.
* Option C would see a new link created from the East of Gravesend to the M20, and would involve creating a new motorway through the West Tilbury marshes, crossing the A13 at the Orsett Cock, then through green belt land across the Orsett marshes to a new roundabout on the M25 at North Ockendon.
When these options were first revealed in 2009, residents in Orsett collected an 891 strong signature petition against option C.