In yesterday’s debate on the lower Thames crossing led by Thurrock MP, Jackie Doyle-Price, Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, made a strong stand against Option C, stressing the damaging impact it would have on the local environment and community.
After congratulating Ms Doyle-Price on securing such an important debate, Mr Metcalfe emphasised the incredible environmental effect of Option C which would divide an established rural community and wreck one of the most significant remaining rural parts of South Essex. He also stated that Option C would not address or help to deliver the full economic potential of South Essex.
Both MPs called upon the Government to scrap the remaining Options and reconsider options D and E which did not form part of the consultation. Whilst the Minister acknowledged that a number of consultation respondents had suggested a similar approach, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Mr Robert Goodwill, stated that the Government will not reconsider previously rejected options.
Mr Goodwill continued to say that the Government are currently considering what further improvements may be needed on the M25, A282, and A13 to ensure that congestion is not pushed to other parts of the M25 when the bottleneck at the crossing is addressed.
Stephen Metcalfe MP commented: “I am disappointed by the Ministers response and maintain my staunch opposition to Option C and its variant. The consequences of this proposal to my constituents are extremely serious and it would not be the right decision for South Basildon and East Thurrock, for South Essex, or for the country as a whole.”
“I am therefore writing to the Minister to make a more comprehensive case for widening of the scope of the proposals to re-include options D and E. I believe the Government needs to look at potential crossings taking into account the wider opportunities for growth in the Thames corridor, not just the impact it would have on the current crossing. If that were to happen I am sure the outcome would be different.”
“Jackie Doyle-Price MP and I will continue to make our views known to Government and we will not falter in ensuring that our concerns and the concerns of our constituents are heard.”