Ultimatum over Grays £15m high street proposal

How the underpass might look from the south side of the High Street. Drawing by consultants Ramboll.

How the underpass might look from the south side of the High Street. Drawing by consultants Ramboll.

First published in News

NETWORK Rail has issued an ultimatum to Thurrock Council over plans to build a walkway under Grays train station – build it or risk losing the level crossing.

As well as the underpass, plans to restore Grays to its former glory include an overhaul of the station and the creation of a town square on the north side of the railway line.

However, Network Rail has said the council must commit to the proposals by January or it will close the crossing, which it says is one of the most hazardous in the region, and build a second footbridge in its place.

With 2,000 people due to move into the new South Essex College campus in the town in September, the plans – estimated to cost up to £15 million – are seen as being vital to the integration of the college with the rest of Grays.

The council’s planning and regeneration committee is keen to see the proposals given the goahead, and has recommended the council’s cabinet approves them later this month.

An underpass would provide free-flow access between both sides of the High Street.

The town square would provide the opportunity for alfresco dining, landscaped greenery and a centrepiece water feature. The square would also provide a space for outdoor entertainment.

Matthew Essex, head of regeneration at the council, said it was critical the council showed Network Rail it was serious about the proposals.

He added: “This is a huge opportunity and we don’t want to lose it now.

“National Rail is deeply concerned about the effect of the college opening, but we have held positive talks with them.

“There’s little point in bringing 2,000 students to Grays if there is little access to the north end of the high street.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said discussions were ongoing with the council over the proposals.

Comments (4)

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12:06pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Indred Cold says...

Its about time a tunnel needed to be done decades ago as ever TBC have sat on thier fat arses and done nothing
Its about time a tunnel needed to be done decades ago as ever TBC have sat on thier fat arses and done nothing Indred Cold
  • Score: 7

1:02pm Fri 14 Mar 14

PoorFleet says...

I'm not gonna lie.. I am totally struggling to 'get' the artists impression of the underpass.
I'm not gonna lie.. I am totally struggling to 'get' the artists impression of the underpass. PoorFleet
  • Score: 15

6:53pm Fri 14 Mar 14

cynic all says...

The only way to restore Grays to its former glory as stated is to put big high street names back into the town ,get rid of all the pound shops betting shops and all the other lacklustre high street rubbish that's there. Grays has no warmth or appeal it looks terrible feels depressing. If you put a underpass there it will be a muggers paradise .As for a town square don't make me laugh. There is no long term vision for the town so I am afraid the decline will continue .
The only way to restore Grays to its former glory as stated is to put big high street names back into the town ,get rid of all the pound shops betting shops and all the other lacklustre high street rubbish that's there. Grays has no warmth or appeal it looks terrible feels depressing. If you put a underpass there it will be a muggers paradise .As for a town square don't make me laugh. There is no long term vision for the town so I am afraid the decline will continue . cynic all
  • Score: 7

10:32am Sun 16 Mar 14

ThurrockResident says...

cynic all wrote:
The only way to restore Grays to its former glory as stated is to put big high street names back into the town ,get rid of all the pound shops betting shops and all the other lacklustre high street rubbish that's there. Grays has no warmth or appeal it looks terrible feels depressing. If you put a underpass there it will be a muggers paradise .As for a town square don't make me laugh. There is no long term vision for the town so I am afraid the decline will continue .
I agree. I see Trendz has closed as has another clothing shop. And zero hours contract Sports Direct always seems too be near empty. We need some decent shops!
[quote][p][bold]cynic all[/bold] wrote: The only way to restore Grays to its former glory as stated is to put big high street names back into the town ,get rid of all the pound shops betting shops and all the other lacklustre high street rubbish that's there. Grays has no warmth or appeal it looks terrible feels depressing. If you put a underpass there it will be a muggers paradise .As for a town square don't make me laugh. There is no long term vision for the town so I am afraid the decline will continue .[/p][/quote]I agree. I see Trendz has closed as has another clothing shop. And zero hours contract Sports Direct always seems too be near empty. We need some decent shops! ThurrockResident
  • Score: 1

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