Thurrock Council has vowed to ‘go to any lengths’ in its battle against what they describe as ‘abysmal’ plans for the Lower Thames Crossing: Council leader calls for legal action on Lower Thames Crossing. A quick glance at the headline on their press release and you could think that they are against the entire concept of the crossing. Actually, they’re just battling against the plans. When you start reading through the release, it does start to seem like an exercise in fence sitting.

This is what Cllr. Rob Gledhill, the Tory leader of Thurrock Council had to say: Contrary to Highways England’s claims that the scheme will enable sustainable local development and strengthen and connect local communities, it will in fact just smash through greenbelt land, damage development opportunities and effectively cut the borough in half. There is a clear absence of any real connectivity improvements here, only the threat of a motorway and absolutely nothing that will benefit our residents as has been intimated by Highways England. In fact, this proposal will have a completely unacceptable impact on Thurrock.

It really does seem that it’s the connectivity issues that are exercising Cllr. Gledhill rather than a six lane motorway smashing through the countryside, exacerbating an already serious air pollution situation in Thurrock. Could it be that if Highways England can be persuaded to offer better connectivity that Cllr. Gledhill claims would aid ‘sustainable’ local development, he would reconsider his opposition?

Bear in mind that Tory councillors and senior Thurrock Council officers have been cosying up to developers in closed door meetings: Keeping us out of the loop while Thurrock is put up for sale. Could their desire for better connectivity have something to do with looking for somewhere to site new housing and commercial developments? Developments which would generate extra traffic with the associated noise and pollution.

Also, it would seem that Thurrock Council and Highways England are totally oblivious to the recently released report on the dire consequences of climate change if immediate action isn’t taken: World leaders ‘have moral obligation to act’ after UN climate report. Seriously, do these people live in a parallel universe?

If you want to put a stop to the Lower Thames Crossing, we would strongly advise you to not put your faith in either Thurrock Council or the Lower Thames Crossing Taskforce to do that. To us, it seems that what they’re really trying to do is get Highways England to amend the plans in a way that will facilitate more ‘development’ in Thurrock. As we’ve stated before, the river crossing only exists as a notion in the heads of the planners and thousands of pages of documentation on their computer systems. There is still no physical manifestation of it. As far as we’re concerned, there’s still everything to play for…