Thurrock Independents Demand Action By Highways England

Thurrock Independents will consider resigning from the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force at Thurrock Council if Highways England do not make significant progress by the next meeting on Monday 19th March.

Thurrock Independents Spokesman said: “Highways England have not properly engaged with the members of the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force at Thurrock Council. They have not provided any satisfactory answers relating to data including air pollution or traffic modelling. They use many excuses, including claims they haven’t finished preparing information they previously promised to bring us, despite having months to do so. We have an extensive backlog of unanswered questions that the Highways England team have yet to address.

“The Task Force is now being told that it will have no influence whatsoever on project led decisions. Indeed, Highways England’s Chief Executive stated this at the January meeting. Project Led Decisions are things that Highways England decide without proper consultation with the Task Force.

“Kent has been fully briefed that their roads will be cut and covered, tunneled or at ground level. This was stated in the Scoping Report, the words used were ‘as to make it pleasing to the eye’. Where as in Thurrock it appears that Highways England are trying to include elevated sections in the plans up to seven meters high. This will be seen, smelt and heard from miles away. All we are asking is to be given the same considerations as those given to Kent.

“The disappointment on the faces of the Task Force and members of the public alike was very apparent at the last meeting (19th February). If Highways England fail to deliver in the next meeting there is little point in the Task Force continuing. We may be left with little choice but to demand a full Judicial Review as well as an urgent investigation by the Government into the failures of Highways England during this highly unsatisfactory consultation process.”