THE MP for Thurrock has written to the transport secretary urging him to hold off on making a decision over where a new Thames river crossing is located until the full impact of free-flow tolling is known.

The cashless payment system which will mean motorists no longer have to stop pay for the crossing comes into effect in October this year.

And Jackie Doyle-Price is now asking transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin to wait until then before picking between Option A - a new crossing next to the existing one - and Option C - which would land a bridge or tunnel between Coalhouse Fort and Tilbury Fort.

The Gazette reported last week that Thurrock Council were expecting an announcement in the next couple of weeks - despite news that the Transport Committee will conducting a detailed study into new crossings in the Autumn.

In her letter, Ms Doyle-Price said: “I am aware that it was your intention to make a decision imminently. I am writing to suggest that you pause before making a decision. The department is shortly to introduce free flow tolling at the exisisting Dartford-Thurrock crossing.

“It is worth taking the time to reflect upon the impact of free flow tolling and consider whether these options are the most appropriate ones for consideration.”

Ms Doyle-Price added that “there is a real missed opportunity in looking at the potential of options D and E”, which would see a new crossing land on Canvey Island or Southend.