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My strong voice is getting results

25 September 2013

AFTER the recent security alert which saw the closure of the Dartford crossing, anyone who says there is no need for further crossings is either living in cloud cuckoo land or never has to drive around Thurrock.

For the sake of the road network, simply saying lets wait and see what happens when the toll barriers are removed next October isnít going to cut it.

We need a long term approach if we are going to maximise the opportunities for jobs and growth in Thurrock.

If we are going to get the best deal for Thurrock we need not only to engage in the debate, but to lead it.

We need leadership that shapes our destiny, not leadership that allows decisions to be made for us in Barking or at meetings in Essex where we are not represented. And leadership that looks forward and identifies what is needed.

I am staggered that after all the years the London Gateway superport has been planned, we still have the stretch of the A13 from the A1089 to the Five Bells which is poorly maintained and only dual carriageway.

What a huge failure on the part of Thurrock Council to prepare for this.

It is the same thinking that failed to engage in the debate on river crossings and hoped it would go away.

I am quite clear Ė we need a new crossing at Silvertown, a new Thames Gateway bridge at Gallions Reach and a new outer ring road with a crossing downstream of the options under consideration.

I have asked the Government to think again about the options in the light of recent events which have shown the weakness of having so much reliance on the Dartford crossing.

I am pleased to say ministers are listening to me, as can be shown by the extensions to the residents discount scheme to include vans and an option for unlimited free crossings at a cost of £20 a year. Lets hope they listen again.

I promised I would be a strong voice for Thurrock. I am making lots of noise in this debate.

Fingers crossed I can deliver again.


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