Call to speed up Dartford Crossing plans

The leader of Thurrock Council has called on the Government to speed up its plans to deal with congestion at the Dartford Crossing.

John Kent wants free flowing tolling to be introduced at the notorious bottleneck.

He fears changes to junction 30 and 31 on the M25 are being put on hold until a consultation on building a third Thames crossing is launched later this year.

Speaking to The Echo, Councillor Kent said: “There has been much talk about improvements to Junction 30 in the debate around whether another river crossing is needed.

“I have been saying for around two and a half years that the government needs to invest fully in junction improvements while others claim that’s going to happen anyway.

“Thurrock Council said it wants those improvements made now – along with the free-flow tolling at the crossing – because the congestion is already a problem for local businesses.

“The government has promised a £150 million investment in improving the M25-A13 interchange, but I ask is that enough? Will it ensure free flowing traffic east-west and north-south? Will it come soon enough?”

Kent said he wanted to see firm plans.

He added: “I am calling on the government and the Highways Agency to come clean and show us exactly what they’re proposing and exactly who is going to pay for it.

“Thurrock Council has to make waves to help the borough’s economy expand, but Thurrock, south Essex, the south east, England and Great Britain need to know the proper amount of investment is on the way and soon.”

But Thurrock’s Tory MP, Jackie Doyle-Price, responded by saying: “This Government has done more to solve traffic congestion in Thurrock in three years than the Labour Government did in 13.”

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