THE Thurrock MP has called on the Government to rethink plans for a Lower Thames Crossing after motorists had to endure seven-hour delays following a security scare at the Dartford Crossing.
Jackie Doyle-Price has long been an advocate of another crossing linking Kent and Essex and has been critical of plans to build one that would cut across Thurrock.
She said she has used last Friday’s incident to show Government that options D – an M2 link to Canvey Island and E – an Isle of Grain link to the east of Southend.
Thousands of motorists travelling between Essex and Kent on the M25 ground to a halt on Friday, September 6 as police closed both the bridge and the tunnel at 4pm following reports of suspicious activity.
Army bomb disposal experts, ambulances and emergency service vehicles attended the scene after a device with wires was found on a Dover-bound coach after a man got off just after it had gone through the toll booths.
The man was later detained under the Mental Health Act.
The knock-on effects were felt in London, with severe delays in East Ham, Beckton, Bow, Woolwich, at the Blackwall Tunnel and all approaches to the M25.
The A11, A12 and A13 also experienced heavy traffic.
Ms Doyle Price said she had spoken to the Chancellor about funding implications linked to the issue.
She said: “Friday’s chaos proves there are not enough crossings east of Tower Bridge.
“When the Dartford Crossing closes vast areas become car parks causing misery for motorists.
“It also illustrates the options under consideration are the wrong ones. They would simply add to congestion on the M25 and the A13.
“The Government needs to think again. A new crossing at Canvey offers the opportunity to link the M2 and the M11 and establish a new outer ring road. Dependency on too few crossings brings real risk which is costing our economy badly.”
“I have used the incident on Friday to ask the Government to look again at options D and E – a crossing at Canvey or at Southend.”
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said on a recent visit to Thurrock that Option C – that would connect the M2 with the A13 and the M25 between junctions 29 and 30 – had “attractions”.