At long last, it seems there will be movement on the botched re-development of the railway station at Stanford-le-Hope. Firstly, a day after publishing this post – Thurrock Council and delayed infrastructure projects – there’s a pattern emerging and it ain’t good! – the hard pressed staff and users of what’s left of the railway station at finally get an apology from the leader of Thurrock Council – Councillors give approval for purchase of alternative to Stanford station plans.

Secondly, it looks as though Thurrock Council have found the land needed for the proposed bus turnaround at the station – Mayor reveals location of land council wants to purchase for station plan. Keen eyed observers of this long running debacle will note that the bus turnaround will be on the opposite side of the road to where it was indicated in the sleek but deceptive visualisation of the completed project that was circulating back in 2018. That’s because it was just that – a visualisation and not a fully worked out and costed plan!

So, we’ve had a long overdue apology and and indication that the project will eventually get back on track. However, there are still questions to be answered by the senior council officers who allowed the project to hit the buffers – they need to be held to account for all of the aggro they’ve caused for the staff at the station and the rail travellers who use it. One question in particular needs answering – why was the sodding station demolished before there were fully costed and worked out plans for it’s re-development?!

It shouldn’t have had to take a sustained ear bashing for the council from pissed off travellers and residents for this to happen. We shouldn’t have had to written post after post pulling up the council for their lack of communication to finally get some answers and an apology. What this sorry saga has done is to further show up how fatally flawed the system of local democracy and governance we have to put up with really is