There has been a lot of ill informed criticism of Highways England in the last week so I thought I would set out some facts.
On 24th Feb, Highways England advised me that it would be undertaking ecological surveys to identify the bird population and their migration habits to enable conservation. Thurrock Council received the same information at the same time. Highways England sent out just 15 letters. So the outrage expressed by the council’s political leaders was misplaced and silly.
My message to Thurrock Council is: ‘its time to talk’
Like it or not, a new Lower Thames Crossing is coming. We need to get the best out of it and the only way we will do that is by mature dialogue. Thurrock’s residents need their leaders to step up the plate and engage.
I often hear the complaint that things are done to Thurrock rather than done with. Well is it any surprise? Look at the missed opportunity of HS1. We have a railway line going through Thurrock with no benefit to us. That is what happens when you don’t engage.
Deliberation over where to site the new crossing has now been going for eight years. I have two lever arch files of correspondence with HE and Ministers arguing against the preferred route, arguing that any new junction must not cause more problems in Ockendon. Simply saying no is not going to get the best outcome for Thurrock. Evidence and argument will.
So come on, boys. It is time for conversation.