Agenda and minutes

Lower Thames Crossing Task Force - Monday, 15th October, 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

Contact: Lucy Tricker, Democratic Services Officer  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies for absence received.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force meeting held on 17 September 2018.


The minutes of the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force meeting held on 17 September 2018 were approved as a correct record.


Items of Urgent Business

To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.


There were no items of urgent business.


Declaration of Interests


There were no interests declared.


Election of Vice Chair


Councillor Gerard Rice was nominated and elected as Vice Chair for the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force for this municipal year.


Verbal Update: A13/A1089 Traffic Movement Update


The Transportation Development Manager described how at the last Task Force meeting, additional information regarding traffic movement had been requested. He informed the Task Force that the transport team had then gone away and researched traffic flows for 2017 and 2030, including new proposed housing developments around the borough. He stated that the transportation team had predicted an increase in traffic across the borough, but predictions did not include traffic for the Lower Thames Crossing (LTC), as this was not possible until after the Statutory Consultation had finished. Laura Blake, the Thames Crossing Action Group Representative, questioned how recent changes to the LTC design including the removal of the Tilbury link road, would affect the traffic flow predictions. The Transportation Development Manager confirmed that the models did not include traffic from the LTC, so could not confirm.


Verbal Update: East Facing Slip Roads


The Transportation Development Manager began by stating how East Facing Slip roads had been an aspiration of the Task Force since its inception, which would help eastbound traffic at the junction of the A126/A13 at Lakeside. He mentioned that at the recent Conservative Party Conference, it was announced that funding had been allocated for East Facing Slips; and this was due to Thurrock Council’s funding submission to the Department of Transport. He continued by stating that the scheme would be delivered between 18 months-2 years of construction commencement, and although construction would cause issues it would be beneficial in the long run. Councillor Kelly then discussed how the East Facing Slips and the LTC are connected. He debated that if Highways England had built the A13 correctly in 1986, it would not be an issue now; and the same problems could face the LTC at the A126/Baker Street roundabout.

Councillor Pothecary congratulated the Task Force on this achievement, as East Facing Slips had long been an aspiration of the Task Force, because it was a difficult section of road. Councillor Pothecary then asked Officers if the problem of the railway line at Chafford Hundred and South Ockendon were still a problem for the East Facing Slips, or if a solution had been found. She also asked if this was still in the application phase or if engineering problems were being resolved. The Transportation Development Manager answered that designs had been drawn up which take into account the engineering problems with the railway line; and that two phases of work would be undertaken for different sides of the road. He then added that additional topographical research was needed, and subject to no further issues being identified as a consequence of the site investigation, an engineering solution had been found.


Verbal Update: Statutory Consultation


The Assistant Director for Lower Thames Crossing opened by informing Members that the Statutory Consultation had begun on Wednesday 10 October, and would be continuing until Thursday 20 December. She described how Highways England were holding a number of public information events, beginning on 16 October at 2pm-9pm in the Orsett Hall Hotel. She explained that mobile units would also be travelling around the borough, and the dates for these were available on the website. It was explained that officers were working through thousands of pages of documents on the Statutory Consultation, along with an external consultancy team to be able to formulate the council’s response. The Chair asked the Assistant Director for Lower Thames Crossing if Highways England were going far enough in terms of informing the public. The Assistant Director for Lower Thames Crossing replied that there were originally concerns over the number of events, but the number had been increased through the use of the mobile units. She also felt that there were issues in understanding the consultation documents, and felt some members of the public may struggle to comprehend some of the consultation paperwork.

Councillor Sammons mentioned how affected the residents of East Tilbury were by the proposed plans, but a consultation event was not happening in the town, the closest one being held in Linford. The Chair added to this that an information event may be useful in the SS17 postcode area and Stanford-le-Hope as these were also affected. The Thames Crossing Action Group Representative added that an event would be useful in Purfleet and Aveley.


Presentation by Highways England


David Manning, the Development Director began by introducing the other Highways England representatives who were, Gary Hodge: Associate Director; and Chris Stratford: Lower Thames Crossing – Stakeholder Engagement and SoCG Advisor. The Highways England Development Director began by stating the presentation would cover the changes to the scheme since November 2017. He reiterated that Statutory Consultation was now open and the first event would be held on 16 October in Orsett Hall Hotel, followed by 59 other events. He explained that the event at Orsett Hall Hotel would be very busy, but 46 members of Highways England staff would be there to assist residents and answer questions.

The Highways England Development Director began by discussing the traffic impact of the LTC and how it would improve traffic management by reducing traffic at the Dartford Crossing by 14% at the opening of LTC, rising to a 22% reduction within 15 years, including a 25% reduction of HGVs. He went on to describe how between September 2016 and October 2017 there had been 1,500 accidents at the Dartford Crossing which, on average, led to the closure of one lane for 15 minutes, which created a ripple effect across Essex and Kent. He described how there was a lot of traffic pressure on local roads including the A127, A128, M25 and A12, which often pushed cars and HGVs onto local roads. He then added that Highways England were predicting that without the LTC, Thurrock would see a 20% rise in traffic at the Dartford Crossing, and a 40% rise in traffic along at the A1089. In Highways England’s predictions, with the LTC relieving traffic, the A13 would improve by 10-20%, and would stop delays at the A1089/A13 junction. The Highways England Development Director continued by stating that 27 million journeys would take place across the LTC, and would not struggle with incidents like the Dartford Crossing currently does. He felt it would also reduce traffic along A1089, Dock Road, London Road, the A13 and M25.

The Highways England Associate Director continued by urging residents to participate in the Statutory Consultation. He stated that there had been six major changes since the November 2017 design which were: three lanes in each direction; changes to the route height; removal of the Tilbury link road; a new rest area/ service station at Tilbury; changes to the alignment of the route at Tilbury; and optimisation of the A13. The Chair then opened questions to Members. The Business Representative began by discussing the removal of the Tilbury link road and how this would affect the port. He stated that as there was only north bound access, south bound traffic would have to go through the Manor Way which would cause lots of traffic as there were between 6000 and 8000 vehicles per day. He felt that this level of traffic should be directed to motorways as this would reduce pollution in the borough. In addition, he felt that the proposals did not fit with government policy. The Highways  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.


Task Force Priorities List pdf icon PDF 64 KB


The Corporate Director Place stated that these questions had been bought back to the Task Force as they had not been on the agenda recently. He stated the priorities list had been turned into the mitigation schedule, which would be used a baseline for issues which had been discussed for example, visual impact, the Tilbury railway line, and the impact on the local road network. Councillor Kelly stated he was glad to see these back on the agenda, even though they were outdated now and some questions had been answered. The Chair discussed that the questions would come back to November’s Task Force meeting, so they could be improved and additional comments made.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 49 KB


It was agreed that the mitigation schedule would be added to November’s Task Force meeting.


Any Other Business


It was confirmed there was no other business.