PLANS to get the ball rolling on work to widen the A13 are set to get Thurrock Council's backing next week.

The road will be widened from two lanes in each direction to three lanes between the Orsett Cock and Manorway roundabouts.

The Government announced in July that it would stump up £5million to get work started before ploughing in the remaining £80million later.

DP World - who own, built and run the £1.5billion London Gateway superport - have also agreed to help with funding the project.

At next week's cabinet meeting, councillors will be asked to allow for talks to begin with construction and design firms over the project.

Powers agreed within the The London Gateway Port's Harbour Empowerment Order to acquire land for the widening will also be exercised, should cabinet agree.

John Kent, leader of Thurrock Council, said: "The people of Thurrock have been calling for this for more than a decade, now at last the money is in sight and we can start to get things moving."

Widening of the A13 is seen as integral in unlocking the economic potential in Thurrock and South Essex.

Cllr Kent said: "We all know the A13 is at capacity. We’ve known that for years. We all know that the London Gateway port will put thousands of extra lorries on that stretch of road. We’ve known that for years too.

"Now at last we have a promise of the £5million needed to get things moving – and the government recognising that a further £80million more is needed to actually build the scheme."

He said: "We’re working closely with London Gateway port so the first small steps can be taken quickly so we’ll be ready when the starter's gun fires.

"In just a few years' time this scheme will help ensure Thurrock can achieve the exciting future we have planned. Sorting out this comparatively short stretch of road will – crossing and junctions 30 and 31 allowing – open up the east-west corridor and provide the road infrastructure necessary for the proposals at Thames Enterprise Park, London Gateway, the Port of London, Lakeside and Purfleet.

"The widening of the A13 is a key piece in the jigsaw we at Thurrock Council are putting together with all our various partners to bring Thurrock the exciting, sustainable and aspirational future it deserves."