The final design for a new pedestrian underpass that will replace one of the most dangerous rail crossings in Thurrock is due to be decided.

The planned underpass will replace the level crossing in Grays High Street, which has been plagued with problems due to people jumping the closed gates or using the level crossing, which is located close to the platform, as a means of avoiding paying rail fares.

Plans are to include new public squares to the north and south of the underpass, which will connect with the station, along with shops, cafés and restaurants.

Following a public consultation that centred on three potential designs put forward by Thurrock Council’s development partner Network Rail, the Planning, Transport Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee will narrow the options down to just one when it meets on Monday.

Consultation results show that a clear majority of the public favour a design labelled the ‘Plaza’, which will include a sunken town square to the south of the underpass which will be slightly lower than the surrounding ground level and include a number of shops.

Council documents describe this as being an “extension of events from the High Street” with a clear line of sight to the St Peter and St Paul’s Church giving a “visual connection”.

However, the documents go on to note that there are up to five “blind spots” where people would be able to hide and therefore CCTV would be “essential for crime mitigation”.

Other options include the ‘Crescent’ which would have an amphitheatre curved design to the town squares at the north and south, with the underpass connecting the two, and the ‘Dynamic’ design which would adopt a more modern design without curves.

However, both of these designs would have “limited space” for the extension of High Street, preventing things such as markets from extending into the town squares.

It will be down to councillors to have the final say on which would work best for the area but a council reports explains the removal of Grays pedestrian rail crossing, and replacement with an underpass is a "priority".

It continues: “The crossing is recognised as being amongst the most dangerous crossings in the Eastern region and is the only pedestrian crossing that features in the top 10 most dangerous nationally.”