A ROW has flared between Canvey and Thurrock after an MP said a new Thames crossing should go to the island.
Jackie Doyle-Price, Thurrock MP, saidthe M2 in Kent should be linked to the A130 on Canvey.
However, councillors on Canvey branded the plan a “disaster” and fear it would cause traffic chaos.
Canvey independent councillor Dave Blackwell said: “The island already has 27,000 vehicle movements a day. The roads wouldn’t be able to take it. It would be chaos. They’re at full capacity.
“Because Canvey is below sea level, we would suffer from more pollution and emissions from the extra vehicles on the roads.
“Thurrock Council doesn’t want it through its borough and neither do we. It would be a disaster for the island.”
The Government is considering two options for a Thames Crossing.
Option A would see another route built next to the Dartford crossing.
Option C would see a bridge from Kent land between Coalhouse and Tilbury forts and travel north towards the Orsett Cock junction of the A13, before meeting the M25 between junctions 29 and 30.
Tory Ms Doyle-Price said option D, which involved Canvey and was vetoed by ministers, would be her first choice as it would divert lorries sooner. She is trying to get option D reconsidered.
She spoke while campaigning in Orsett Heath, with Gravesham MP Adam Holloway and Thurrock councillors, against option C.
She said: “We’ve got all the extra HGV traffic coming out of London Gateway and the only way it can go is left – straight to the Dartford Crossing.
“We need better infrastructure going further west, that’s why D is favoured. The purpose would be to take some of the HGV traffic that comes from Dover off the M25 sooner.
“That would liberate the road network in Thurrock, which is now almost at capacity.”
But long-serving Canvey councillor RayHoward said he would fight “tooth and nail” to prevent a new crossing on Canvey.
The Conservative county and borough councillor added: “It’s a no-go area.
“It would be too costly and would come out nowhere near any infrastructure. The residents will put up a united front if there’s any suggestions the current suggestions aren’t to be used.
“More crossings need to be out further east towards London. That will take much of the burden away from the Dartford Crossing.”
MP: Council lacks leadership over plans
JACKIE Doyle-Price accused Thurrock Council of lacking leadership over the crossing plans.
The MP accused the authority of failing to lobby Essex and Kent County Councils properly and said Thurrock’s “none of the above” response to all the options was not good enough.
Ms Doyle-Price said: “The reality is Thurrock has an army of highways engineers and environmental health officers who could prove the air quality impact and prove what the impact on the roads would be and they did nothing.
"They just sat there with their fingers in their ears doing nothing, which is not good enough."
She said she told council leader, councillor John Kent “to give me the bullets and I’ll fire them’’ when the consultation for the options started. She added: “It didn’t happen.”
Councillor Kent hit back, saying the authority had worked hard over the last four years.
Mr Kent said he had objected since 2010. He added: “We have worked with residents and businesses to build support for our campaign against all the options that Government is considering.
“But, I have to remind Ms Doyle- Price that it’s her role as a backbench MP to hold the Government to account and I really wish she would do that.”