TWO senior tory politicians have clashed over the possibility of building a controversial third road linking Canvey and Corringham.
Phil Anderson, leader of the Conservative party at Thurrock Council and Ray Howard, County Councillor and Canvey stalwart, faced off over the possibility of a third road leading from the island to Corringham.
Mr Anderson, ward councillor for Stanford East and Corringham Town, is staunchly against the proposal.
The plans, if passed, could see a road built to link Northwick Road, Canvey, to Manor Way, Corringham.
He said the additional traffic that would bring to the town, and Manor Way in particular, would put more pressure on the road.
Lorries bound for the £1.6 billion DP World London Gateway superport at Stanford-le-Hope and the new Thames Oil Port in Coryton will also be using the existing Corringham road.
Mr Anderson said: “As you can imagine, there is a fair degree of concern locally that to add this traffic on top of the additional vehicles from DP World and the potential new Thames Oil Port development would have a severe impact on quality of life in Corringham and Stanford and potentially lead to gridlock at junctions which have not been designed to take Canvey traffic.”
However, Mr Howard claims recent developments at DP World shows it is the right time to improve links between Thurrock and Canvey.
He said: “I am disappointed to hear the leader of the conservative party in Thurrock has a different view as I believe the proposal has benefits to both areas.
“Not everyone will use the road if it is built so I don’t know if it would be as busy as suggested but I would be happy to meet with the Thurrock Conservatives to share views.”
Mr Anderson said Homesteads councillor James Halden will raise a motion at the full council meeting this Wednesday asking the Labour-run authority to not support the road proposal.
Mr Halden added: “I have grown up in Stanford and I have seen our community do its fair share in terms of hosting national infrastructure; from ports to major roads. We have enough going on in Thurrock.”
The roads plan was presented to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin by Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris in December with the Department for Transport promising to help Castle Point Council look into funding options for the project.
The only current routes off the island are Canvey Way and Ferry Road, Benfleet.