I am pleased to present the 4th Annual Progress Report on the Local Transport Plan for Thurrock Council. This document reports the improvements and progress made in 2003/04 and sets out transportation programmes and targets for future years.
This year we have focused our efforts on the transport related shared priorities for local government which were agreed by the Government and the Local Government Association in 2002, namely:
Significant progress has been achieved throughout 2003/04 by careful use of Local Transport Plan funding. This has been augmented by the allocation of a significant amount of Council Capital and Revenue funding, and by maximising external sources of funding. The public and stakeholders have been involved in all stages of our work and our partnership with local groups has continued to ensure that the Council is on track across a wide range of performance indicators.
One of our key successes this year has been the completion of St Clements Way that was recently opened by Minister for Transport Tony McNulty. Another notable achievement was the introduction of free bus travel for the over-60s and disabled in February 2004. Thurrock is the only Council in the Eastern Region that provides completely free local bus travel for these groups.
The next year will prove particularly challenging for Thurrock. The roll-out of a new planning and regeneration agenda will bring unique challenges and provide a framework for the provision of both strategic and local transport over the next twenty years. Thurrock Council will continue to work closely with the emerging Thurrock Urban Development Corporation. It is likely that a Strategic Partnership for key Council services will be introduced. Work will also commence on a new Local Development Framework.
It is against this backdrop that we will be embarking upon our next five-year Local Transport Plan to take us through to 2011. I look forward to working in partnership with the Government and local community stakeholders to improve all aspects of transportation in Thurrock.
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