Unsurprisingly, there has been a lot of interest in my Lower Thames Crossing survey, not least because it illustrates high levels of support for a new crossing.

It is clear recognition that a new crossing is necessary is growing, not least because traffic congestion from the existing crossing is ever more frequent, but also because the introduction of free-flow tolling has not solved our congestion problems.

As we know, the Government is looking at two options for a new crossing, both of which go through Thurrock. Between us, John Kent and I have been making representations to the Government to encourage it to look at a crossing downstream.

That option was ruled out initially on the basis both of cost and because the Highways Agency does not believe it would alleviate congestion at the Dartford crossing. We have not produced a strong enough case to make it reconsider that view. So, when the Government does make its recommendation in a matter of weeks, the crossing will be in Thurrock.

I have constantly challenged the Government to ensure that any new crossing satisfies my criteria. Firstly, the crossing must not add further congestion to Thurrock’s road network.  Secondly, it must alleviate congestion at the Dartford crossing.  And thirdly, it must not add to further congestion to the M25 and A13. I will be looking at the Government’s proposed route when it’s announced with these criteria in mind.

While we have not been able to deliver the outcome we would have liked, we have to make sure that what does come is delivered without disadvantage to Thurrock. The proposal will go through further consultation and I will be making firm representations to ensure that our voice is heard. I know Thurrock Council will do the same.