A NEW council boss insists "now is the golden chance" to push through long-awaited proposals for a new road linking Canvey with the mainland.

Dave Blackwell, Canvey Independent leader of Castle Point Council, claims the proposals for a third road off the island are being brought into focus by the major new freeport donwn the Thames at Tilbury, as well as the possible expansion of a chemical storage site.

The need for a third road was highlighted last week when a huge oil tanker fire at Sadlers Farm forced the closure of Canvey Way for several days and left islanders feeling trapped.


Mr Blackwell said: “We are still very keen and see this as the golden opportunity, there’s never been a better chance with the new freeport and the chemical storage plans too.

“We are very hopeful we can kickstart this.

"After the huge tanker fire we’ve got to prove to the Government you cannot leave people on Canvey like that.

“It’s a top priority for me as new council leader and is a top policy for us. We’ve got to make sure it’s top of everyone’s agenda.

“There have been positive meetings with Thurrock Council in the past and the authority is very much on board.”

The proposed new road would run from Northwick Road on Canvey over to Manor Way in Stanford-le-Hope.

It would provide a more direct route to the new freeport, which has has seen DP World’s London Gateway, Port of Tilbury and Ford’s Dagenham plant combine to create tens of thousands of jobs.


Mr Blackwell also says plans by Canvey chemical storage firm Oikos will help progress new route talks.

The plans would see the firm double the amount of fuel stored at its plant on the island.

Mr Blackwell added: “We’ve been campaigning for about 30 years and the Canvey people are calling out for it too.

“We are meeting with Rebecca Harris, Tory MP for Castle Point, and look forward to working closely with her on this.”

Mr Blackwell is hoping to stage further talks with Thurrock Council to kickstart the process, that would begin with depth surveys to establish costs for the new road.

In February, three crashes on Canvey and temporary lights in Link Road on Monday caused huge queues across the island and saw drivers abandon their cars to walk home.

Back in February, the then Tory leader Andrew Sheldon said it was a matter of when and not if about the plans going ahead for the new road.