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Jackie Doyle-Price has revealed that a survey she held in the run up to the General Election has revealed that half of those who responded are content with the proposals for the Lower Thames crossing.

Jackie said, “Many of you will have received a survey from me last year and I invited your opinions on the proposed route for the Lower Thames Crossing. I received 920 responses which found that 31% were happy with the chosen location and anxious to get it built. A further 20% felt the proposed route was okay and that no route would suit everyone.

Of the remaining responses, 4% had no interest. 17% said no to any crossing and 28% said yes to a new crossing but not this route.

Last week’s Budget confirmed that £6.8bn has been made available for this crossing. As you know this is not the route I wanted. I believe Route 4 would have been better for Thurrock. More people in Thurrock favoured route 4 but this is a national policy decision and without the support of Thurrock Council I could not persuade Highways England that this route would be preferable.

I understand why Thurrock Council was not prepared to take a position. While residents at the West of the borough welcome a crossing to the East, residents at the East are understandably opposed. Everyone wants infrastructure but no one wants it near them. However that reluctance to take a position has set us back. Thurrock really should have been more forthright about opposing further expansion at the current crossing. A tunnel which starts ahead of Junction 2 and comes out north of J30 will have no effect on the volumes of traffic which join and leave at those junctions. It is that traffic which causes congestion on Thurrock’s roads. To tackle the congestion on Thurrock’s roads we need an alternative route that will build resilience in the local road network

We all know that this crossing is coming. It is important now that Thurrock Council engages with Highways England to make sure we get the most we can from it. I am pleased that we have secured funding for a new Tilbury link road so that traffic from Tilbury 2 will be able to use it, thus taking more HGVs off our roads. It is time for Thurrock Council to change tack. To stop saying no to any crossing and to engage with Highways England to get the best for Thurrock.”