Stephen Metcalfe and Jackie Doyle Price, local Members of Parliament for South Basildon & East Thurrock, and Thurrock respectively, together with other colleagues today met with the Prime Minister to discuss options for a Lower Thames Crossing.
The meeting, set up following a recent Prime Minister Question asked by Stephen Metcalfe, was an opportunity for colleagues with an interest in the Lower Thames Crossing to explain to the PM their concerns about the impact of the current proposed options.
Stephen, who continues to oppose both options, said after the meeting: “It was a constructive meeting, during which the Prime Minister listened carefully to the arguments and agreed to talk to both the Chancellor and the Minister responsible about our various points.”
“While the five of us do not necessarily agree about the problems with Options A and C, we do agree that there are wider considerations such as pushing the problem of congestion elsewhere and promoting growth that need to be looked at.”
The group told the PM that the current options were designed to address a question posed a decade ago to relieve congestion at the existing crossing. What neither option does is to maximise the huge growth potential that exists in South Essex or Kent.
Jackie Doyle Price said: “I emphasised that the current options would simply put more traffic on the A13 and the M25. The Prime Minister is fully aware of the problems caused by gridlock at the Dartford crossing and the need for a new Lower Thames crossing must alleviate that congestion. We were able to make the case for looking again at options D and E which would facilitate the construction of a new outer ring to complement the M25."
Also in attendance were the three Members of Parliament from Kent, Tracey Crouch, Adam Holloway and Gareth Johnson.