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East Thurrock MP "disappointed" after river crossing debate
THE MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock said he is "disappointed" by the government's response to a debate on a new river crossing.
Yesterday, the transport minister announced he would not look again at options for the new River Thames crossing to land in Canvey Island or Southend, despite pleas from MPs Stephen Metcalfe and Jackie Doyle-Price.
Instead, Robert Goodwill said his department would look at concerns raised over options A and C.
Option A would see a new crossing built next to the current Dartford crossing, while option C would see a bridge or tunnel land between Tilbury Fort and Coalhouse Fort in East Tilbury before joining the A13.
Mr Metcalfe said: "I am disappointed by the minister's response and maintain my staunch opposition to option C and its variant.
"The consequences of this proposal to my constituents are extremely serious and it would not be the right decision for South Basildon and East Thurrock, for South Essex, or for the country as a whole.
"I am therefore writing to the Minister to make a more comprehensive case for widening of the scope of the proposals to re-include options D and E.
"I believe the Government needs to look at potential crossings taking into account the wider opportunities for growth in the Thames corridor, not just the impact it would have on the current crossing. If that were to happen I am sure the outcome would be different."
Labour's Mike Le-Surf, who will challenge Mr Metcalfe for the East Thurrock seat in 2015, accused the Conservatives of being "ineffectual" and "irrelevant" on the crossing and on the area's transport needs.
He said: "This is a disaster for Thurrock residents and its clear that the current Tory MP has no influence in Westminster with his Tory colleagues.
"The local Tories have proved themselves to be both ineffectual and irrelevant regarding the proposed crossing and the transport needs for the area.
"We need free flowing tolls to properly assess the requirement for any type of additional crossing so why is the government pushing ahead before this is in place?"
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