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Council leader calls for crossing decision
THE leader of Thurrock Council has written to the Government asking them what the delay is in announcing their preferred option for a new Lower Thames Crossing.
The Department for Transport had pledged to reveal its favoured crossing route in October after consulting on three options in June and July.
But as we approach mid-November, it is still not known which of the three options the Government will back.
Option A would see a new crossing built close to the QEII Bridge, option B would crossing be just to the east of Grays and west of Tilbury Docks, landing on the Dock Approach Road towards the A13 and option C would land between Coalhouse and Tilbury forts and travelling north towards the Orsett Cock junction of the A13.
Essex County Council recently announced that it preferred option C, along with Kent County Council, while Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price has stated her opposition to all three options and lobbied the Government to look at options further east.
In his letter to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, Labour’s John Kent said: “I am writing to express my disappointment about the delay in you announcing the outcome of the consultation on the Lower Thames Crossing, and to seek some clarity on when Thurrock’s fate will be announced.
“We had been led to believe that your decision was to have been made in the late summer, but I understand it is not now expected for quite some time.
“This is very disappointing for me personally, for the council as a whole and for the people of Thurrock. We need to know what the government is planning so we can fully consider our position.”
Roads Minister Robert Goodwill said: "The location of the crossing is an important one and can not be rushed. With traffic levels expected to increase by a fifth over the next 30 years, there is no doubt that we need another crossing if our road network is able to meet the future economic needs of the country.
"Over 5,700 people responded to the Lower Thames Crossing consultation and it is vital that all of those responses are carefully considered before a decision is made by the end of the year."
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