MP candidate urges Government to act over town centre level crossing

Polly Billington, with the council's lead of regeneration Andy Smith (centre) and c2c managing director Julian Drury.

Polly Billington, with the council's lead of regeneration Andy Smith (centre) and c2c managing director Julian Drury.

First published in News Thurrock Gazette: Matt Abbott by , Chief Reporter

THE Government is being urged to help transform a level crossing in Grays...and in turn, unlock the town centre's potential.

Plans are currently being developed to revamp the south end of Grays High Street - with an underpass to replace the level crossing at Grays rail station central to the vision.

Polly Billington, Labour's MP candidate for the election next year, has written to the Government highlighting the importance of the crossing and urging them to stump up funding.

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership has bid for £16.4million of funding for the project while the private sector could contribute £5million. The overall cost of the project is around £21.5million over five years.

Ms Billington said: "Grays’ level crossing is one of the two worst level crossings, in terms of incidents, within the Network Rail Eastern Region.

"The crossings are bad for residents and for business. Right now ministers have the chance to give Grays Town centre a real boost by awarding support so we can get started solving at least one of our level crossing problems.

"We have a plan for a new underpass, that would be safe, good for pushchairs and wheelchairs, well-lit, and respects the character of the area. The current footbridge is none of these things.

"With the new South Essex College building opening in September, there is all the more need to get the level crossing sorted.

"Most places would take a safe, smart, pleasant way to get around the town centre for granted. We have to fight for that here. We need to make sure ministers listen and act to improve our town centre."

Comments (8)

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12:35pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Make Thurrock Better says...

We all know that the new college is going to create a bottle neck the South side of the station with students being dropped off. This is going to lead to huge problems. The Morrisons side of the station is very badly thought out. It needs an effective drop off zone. At the moment for hours every evening 100's of cars are turning into the small road down by the side of Morrisons and queueing to pick up and drop off. Technically they are not supposed to be there as most of it is designated disabled parking or shop loading bays. The taxis have an effective area. What about residents? An underpass is a good idea but I think a good drop off Zone for the station on the Morrisons side is a higher priority.
We all know that the new college is going to create a bottle neck the South side of the station with students being dropped off. This is going to lead to huge problems. The Morrisons side of the station is very badly thought out. It needs an effective drop off zone. At the moment for hours every evening 100's of cars are turning into the small road down by the side of Morrisons and queueing to pick up and drop off. Technically they are not supposed to be there as most of it is designated disabled parking or shop loading bays. The taxis have an effective area. What about residents? An underpass is a good idea but I think a good drop off Zone for the station on the Morrisons side is a higher priority. Make Thurrock Better
  • Score: 5

3:10pm Wed 2 Jul 14

cynic all says...

Well I have learnt something here , The town has potential and vision ,that's news to me because its the total lack of vision that's left it in the mess it is today.
Well I have learnt something here , The town has potential and vision ,that's news to me because its the total lack of vision that's left it in the mess it is today. cynic all
  • Score: 5

3:49pm Wed 2 Jul 14

lady1968 says...

Don't agree with a drop off/pick up point. Commuters should do what I do and walk to the station, if you live to far away then pay for parking - don't hold up other people because you are to lazy to walk.

In theory an underpass is a good idea, but with the low lives that live in Grays I won't be using it. How can this MP in waiting guarantee my safety if I used it.
Don't agree with a drop off/pick up point. Commuters should do what I do and walk to the station, if you live to far away then pay for parking - don't hold up other people because you are to lazy to walk. In theory an underpass is a good idea, but with the low lives that live in Grays I won't be using it. How can this MP in waiting guarantee my safety if I used it. lady1968
  • Score: -1

4:27pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Make Thurrock Better says...

Not everyone who needs to use Grays station to get to work is even a car owner. My children, when they lived here, used to have 3 hour commutes to work. An hour and a half each way. Many times they were not even home until 8pm and you think they can do a 25 min walk each way to the station as well. Making nearly 4 hours of travelling a day. Many husbands, wives, kids etc are being picked up in the one family car. They are not LAZY.
Not everyone who needs to use Grays station to get to work is even a car owner. My children, when they lived here, used to have 3 hour commutes to work. An hour and a half each way. Many times they were not even home until 8pm and you think they can do a 25 min walk each way to the station as well. Making nearly 4 hours of travelling a day. Many husbands, wives, kids etc are being picked up in the one family car. They are not LAZY. Make Thurrock Better
  • Score: 4

7:47pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Dave_ says...

£21 million for an underpass is some underpass.
The council has probably wasted millions over the years from developers of the town centre, that could have been used to do this.
One of the best ways of revamping Grays is get rid of people like Cllr Smith who has been a Cllr for years and overseen the town's demise.

When I was child in the 60s and 70s there were a number of thrivng businesses south of the railway that had been there for years and all we had then was a level crossing and footbridge. The fact the businesses aren't there now is probably more due to poor decisions by councillors and a desire to knock down the old High Street and build houses an put in new council offices, than the fact we didn't have a underpass. Ironically these "new" houses lasted a blink of an eye in comparison to what was there before.
£21 million for an underpass is some underpass. The council has probably wasted millions over the years from developers of the town centre, that could have been used to do this. One of the best ways of revamping Grays is get rid of people like Cllr Smith who has been a Cllr for years and overseen the town's demise. When I was child in the 60s and 70s there were a number of thrivng businesses south of the railway that had been there for years and all we had then was a level crossing and footbridge. The fact the businesses aren't there now is probably more due to poor decisions by councillors and a desire to knock down the old High Street and build houses an put in new council offices, than the fact we didn't have a underpass. Ironically these "new" houses lasted a blink of an eye in comparison to what was there before. Dave_
  • Score: 5

8:28am Thu 3 Jul 14

lady1968 says...

Make Thurrock Better I think you'll find I have an hour and a half commute each way plus a 20 min walk. There is a pick up/drop off point on the London side of the station - people are just to lazy to walk over to where it is.
Make Thurrock Better I think you'll find I have an hour and a half commute each way plus a 20 min walk. There is a pick up/drop off point on the London side of the station - people are just to lazy to walk over to where it is. lady1968
  • Score: 0

9:50am Thu 3 Jul 14

ebagumtrebor says...

I hate to burst Polly's bubble but, this has been an issue in waiting for well over a decade. For most of that time we had a Labour government and a Labour council administration. Why has Polly started to whinge about it now. If Polly wants to score political points and try to make the current government look like nasty people that don't care about Thurrock, perhaps she should steer clear of issues that are such bleedingly obvious hangovers from the last Labour government. One thing your party did do Polly was to flood Thurrock with immighrants. That's something the residents of Thurrock never asked anyone for.
I hate to burst Polly's bubble but, this has been an issue in waiting for well over a decade. For most of that time we had a Labour government and a Labour council administration. Why has Polly started to whinge about it now. If Polly wants to score political points and try to make the current government look like nasty people that don't care about Thurrock, perhaps she should steer clear of issues that are such bleedingly obvious hangovers from the last Labour government. One thing your party did do Polly was to flood Thurrock with immighrants. That's something the residents of Thurrock never asked anyone for. ebagumtrebor
  • Score: 4

11:12am Thu 3 Jul 14

Make Thurrock Better says...

My whole point is that if the drop off and pick up zone was mainly on the Morrisons side it would reduce the need for traffic to go through the bottle neck at the south side of the station. This is going to become even more traffic heavy with the new college. Taxi drivers I have spoken to are well aware of what this will mean for them when customers want to be dropped off at the south side for London. My suggestion is that those being dropped off could mainly access the station from the Morrisons side. Meaning in the morning, when London bound, they will be walking to the other side of the station. It's about keeping traffic flowing and also allocating more space on the Morrisons side for drop offs and pick ups. Why would anyone be against that??
My whole point is that if the drop off and pick up zone was mainly on the Morrisons side it would reduce the need for traffic to go through the bottle neck at the south side of the station. This is going to become even more traffic heavy with the new college. Taxi drivers I have spoken to are well aware of what this will mean for them when customers want to be dropped off at the south side for London. My suggestion is that those being dropped off could mainly access the station from the Morrisons side. Meaning in the morning, when London bound, they will be walking to the other side of the station. It's about keeping traffic flowing and also allocating more space on the Morrisons side for drop offs and pick ups. Why would anyone be against that?? Make Thurrock Better
  • Score: 2

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