THE mayor of London Boris Johnson has given assurances that Thurrock’s residents views will be heard in respect to a new airport and a Lower Thames Crossing – while admitted Option C for the crossing had “attractions”.
Boris Johnson spoke to the Gazette as he visited London’s Gateway’s deep sea container superport on Tuesday and said it was very important that local opinions were taken into account when considering such large projects.
He said: “Residents will be considered of course. There are big environmental questions we have to get right, but we will always make sure people are properly consulted.
“We must look after the wildlife and the biodiversity and I know that DP World has gone to tremendous trouble in this particular project to move huge numbers of animals.
“You can do these things sensitively and you can do them in a way that is attractive. The issue is you must do it by talking to local people and engaging with the community.
“I am very conscious if there were progress on say a Lower Thames Crossing or an aviation solution on the other side of the river, then clearly people in this part of the world would have to have their say and they will.”
Mr Johnson has been criticised for showing Option C in place on plans that for the Isle of Grain airport and Boris Island – an artificial island on the Thames Estuary – citing concerns that a decision has already been made.
Leader of Thurrock Council John Kent recently tweeted that he would be writing to the mayor to express his anger saying “Both options for Boris Johnson’s new airport show a crossing at option C – does he know something we don’t? I have written to ask him.”
Mr Johnson admitted: “We are looking at it and will give a full response. We do think Option C has attractions, but we will have to see where the Government ends up on that.
“We are consulting on all the options and I am aware there are difficulties with every proposition made.
“In the end you must have more crossings on the Thames and serious analysis accepts that. If we can do anything to help the Government mitigate the impact we will do so.”
Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price wrote to Mr Johnson last week asking him to reconsider his support for Option C.
She asked him to take a closer look at Options D (M2 to Canvey) and E (Isle of Grain to Southend).
Jackie said: “Option C will simply put more traffic on the congested A13 and M25.
“I would be delighted if you could show your support and ask the Government to think again about its crossing proposals.”