Thurrock Council is urging residents to make sure they take part in Highways England’s latest public consultation on their Lower Thames Crossing proposals.
Running from 14 July until 12 August 2020, this is the third round of consultation on plans to build a major highway through Thurrock as part of a proposed new Thames river crossing.
The consultation follows design refinements made as a result of previous consultation feedback and ongoing scheme development work, which takes technical constraints into account. The proposed changes include:
- minor refinements to elements of the highways design
- updated paths for walkers, cyclists and horse riders
- proposals for redirecting and upgrading utilities
- more detailed landscaping proposals
- further developed ecological mitigation measures
Leader of Thurrock Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill, said: "It is vital that residents make their voice heard in this latest consultation. Previous responses have already twice led to Highways England re-evaluating their plans but we believe these changes do not go far enough to mitigate the harm these proposals will do to our borough and its residents.
"I had asked Highways England to delay this consultation until it could be more accessible but they have decided to press ahead despite these difficulties. I urge residents to go online and make their voice heard in this latest round of consultation.
"Thurrock Council remains unanimous in its opposition to these proposals and we will robustly defend our position with Highways England. We have earmarked ongoing financial resources to be used for just this purpose."
Cllr Mark Coxshall, Cabinet member for regeneration, said: "Highways England's plans involve building a major highway which will create an unnatural division through the borough. The earlier changes and these refinements still do not address major concerns we have with proposals offering no benefits to Thurrock's residents and businesses.
"We continue to challenge Highways England and we will provide constructive feedback on their latest proposals."
Cllr Gerard Rice, Chair of Thurrock Council’s Lower Thames Crossing Taskforce said: "This latest consultation is another opportunity for residents and businesses to let Highways England know what we think of their proposals.
"Previous responses have played a part in forcing two rounds of changes and refinements to plans so it’s important that we all make our voices heard here.
"These plans offer no benefits to Thurrock and your council stands united in its opposition to them. I urge everyone to log on, learn about the latest plans and make sure their feedback is heard loud and clear."
Find out more about the plans and the consultation at Highways England: Lower Thames Crossing design refinements consultation.
A further round of consultations is likely to take place before the submission of final plans at the end of September.