Highways England have announced they will start consultation on the Lower Thames Crossing on Wednesday 10 October.
Cllr Rob Gledhill, Leader of Thurrock Council, said: “I’m disgusted but unsurprised at the unacceptable lack of engagement and information from Highways England ahead of time for the Council to properly prepare information and advice for residents. They have said that the consultation documents will run to 7,000 pages, yet have refused to share information with us in advance of the consultation beginning, despite many meetings and attempts to engage as much as possible in the process.
“Highways England will have a battle on their hands and I want to assure the people of Thurrock that we will do all we can to protect the interests of our borough.
“The council remains unanimously opposed to the Lower Thames Crossing and this position has not changed. If the scheme goes ahead, we need to ensure that everything possible is done by Highways England to minimise the impact on the environment and ensure the health of our residents is not harmed. Measures must be put in place that deliver against Thurrock’s priorities and not those of Highways England.”
Cllr Mark Coxshall, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, added: “Officers will analyse the detail of what has been supplied quickly but effectively so we can respond robustly – but this will take some time. As and when we have gone through information on specific areas contained within the consultation documents, we will be providing information to support the public’s response.”
Cllr Peter Smith, Chair of the Lower Thames Crossing Taskforce, said: “The majority of this scheme is within Thurrock yet we have not had the chance to properly analyse the consultation documents before it is launched.
“In the absence of any meaningful information from Highways England, the taskforce has agreed 54 mitigation measures which the scheme must deliver, we will be testing the proposals against these measures to ensure we get the very best outcomes for Thurrock. We will be encouraging those who live and work in the borough to have their say by providing a response to the consultation, and the information we provide will help them do so.”
The consultation material will be available at www.lowerthamescrossing.co.uk/haveyoursay from Wednesday 10 October.