Highways England are currently undertaking a ‘consultation’ exercise into the proposed Lower Thames Crossing. This exercise is due to finish on December 20th.

A lot of people have been trying to get their heads around the thought processes of Highways England when it comes to their scheduling and location of consultation events and appearances (and non-appearances) by their information vans. At one of the settlements closest to the Lower Thames Crossing, Linford, the consultation event on Wednesday 14th November was held in the Methodist Church which was nowhere near large enough to cope with the number of locals wanting to come along to express their views on the plans: The dice are loaded against us, but…

There’s worse… On Friday 30th November, Highways England brought their information van to Corringham town centre. The van was parked outside the library on St. John’s Way. Here’s the kicker – as you can see from the image at the top of this post, the van was parked in such a way that the only way locals could view the information panels was by standing in the road! To add insult to injury, even though Stanford-le-Hope and Corringham already suffer from some of the highest levels of air pollution in the region which would be worsened by the Lower Thames Crossing, rather than get a full consultation event, all the locals got was a poxy van! See here for the full story on the Thurrock Independent website: Highways England slammed for parking info van in way that put lives in danger!

Highways England are taking the p**s. This is yet another example of a major government agency, answerable to the Secretary of State for Transport, treating residents with contempt. Some commentators wonder why people are losing faith in politicians and government agencies. This kind of arrogant, dismissive attitude from an agency that thinks it can do what the heck it wants is one factor that’s leading people to lose faith in the system. Okay, some people may say this is just one little event. The problem is that this kind of high handed, arrogant crap is endemic across government agencies, departments and local authorities. It’s the corrosive drip drip effect that results from this behaviour which wears away people’s faith in the system and makes them more bitter and cynical. The question is – how much more of this crap are people prepared to take before something gives?