The Government’s decision to locate the new Lower Thames Crossing in Thurrock is not only devastating, it’s damn-right disgraceful. For decades Thurrock has been the dumping ground of Essex and London. We took their household waste at landfill sites. We’ve suffered pollution and gridlock because of mass house building and the Dartford Crossing. And we’re a hotspot for the London overspill.
It was recently revealed that pollution levels in Thurrock and Dartford weren’t being accurately recorded and I suggest this was a deliberate act: The recording of pollution levels in Thurrock might have changed the decision to have the new Lower Thames Crossing located here.
Life expectancy in Thurrock is much lower than it is in neighbouring Havering because of pollution levels. Asthma, respiratory diseases and cancer is a common problem in Thurrock – and it’s all linked to pollution. Thurrock is regularly gridlocked when there are problems at the Dartford Crossing; surrounding roads including the M25, A13 and many back roads particularly around Grays, Lakeside, Chafford Hundred and West Thurrock are affected. The amount of pollution this causes is unacceptable – and it’s local residents who breathe in these toxic fumes. I work in Basildon and my 20-minute journey has turned into a 3-hour nightmare on more than one occasion due to gridlock caused by the Dartford Crossing.
The New Lower Thames Crossing should be located at Canvey where it can link up with the A130 and A127. It will devastate Thurrock’s greenbelt in Orsett and homes will have to be demolished to make way for it. Having the Lower Thames Crossing in Thurrock will not only cause more pollution and misery for local residents, it will also still continue to block local roads including the M25 and A13 if there are problems at either crossing. Clearly, none of this has been considered or thought through.
As a community Thurrock must make a stand and send a message to the Government that we will fight the Lower Thames Crossing. We don’t want it here; Thurrock has been the dumping ground for Essex and London for far too long and enough is enough. For the sake of Thurrock’s air quality, health and life expectancy we must not let this crossing go ahead. Defeatism is not an option.
So, come on Thurrock: let’s unite and fight as a community. We can do this. And we can succeed.