Agenda and minutes

Lower Thames Crossing Task Force - Monday, 16th December, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

Contact: Lucy Tricker, Democratic Services Officer  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Councillors Fraser Massey, Allen Mayes, Terry Piccolo and Tom Kelly sent their apologies. Peter Ward, Business Representative also sent his apologies.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force meeting held on 14 October 2019.


The Thames Crossing Action Group (TCAG) Representative highlighted page 9 of the agenda and clarified that she did not ask about PM2.5 and the new legislation, and had simply stated that if the bill passed the scheme would become untenable. She also asked for clarification regarding the dates for DCO submission as outlined on page 10, and asked whether DCO and construction would both begin in 2021. The Assistant Director LTC replied that DCO would aim to be submitted in 2020.


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.


Highways England Presentation - Cut and Cover pdf icon PDF 955 KB


The Highways England (HE) Development Director introduced the briefing note and stated that there had been high levels of engagement with Thurrock Council, including numerous technical workshops. He added that the HE community ‘Chatty Van’ had also received good levels of engagement from the public, and the local supply chain event that had been held had received over 200 visitors. He stated that HE still planned for Development Consent Order (DCO) submission in 2020, and they had now finished collating consultation responses, which would go on to shape the DCO proposal. He also clarified that HE were considering another round of consultation, but this would be communicated to Thurrock when agreed and would reflect the intensity of the next stage of proposals. The HE Development Director mentioned that a new Facebook page would be launching on 19 December 2019 and would be updated monthly to keep the public up-to-date with the latest developments.

The HE Development Director moved onto discuss the briefing paper and areas for cut and cover along the route. He stated that the proposal allowed for small sections of cut and cover in Thurrock, mainly at the tunnel entrance and at the junction of the A13. He clarified that although cut and cover did have some benefits to air quality and noise reduction, it was restricted in Thurrock by the location of junctions and ground conditions. He described Thurrock’s hydrology, as there was lots of purge water and groundwater to the south of the borough, and if this was disturbed it would have a large environmental impact. He also described how, to the north of the borough, the ground became boggy and marshy due to the Mardyke Valley, which would make it difficult to include cut and cover as deep excavation and pilings would be needed. The HE Development Director also described the two large curves that were included in the proposed route, and would make it difficult to include cut and cover, as drivers needed clear forward facing visibility and this would not be achievable if the route was in a tunnel. He clarified that if the route were in a tunnel for these sections, the road would need to be twice as wide, which would increase the land needed and the footprint of construction works. He added that it would also increase the construction schedule and the delays associated with this.

The Chair opened debate and stated that he represented the town of Chadwell St Mary, where the proposed route would come very close to resident’s homes. He understood that although cut and cover could not be provided along the entire route, he felt that it could be used in locations close to urban areas to protect residents. He felt that as the route would be in use for over 100 years, it should be right by design and include the correct levels of coverage and mitigation. The HE Development Director replied that HE were considering non-motorised users across the borough and would be looking  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.


Task Force Priorities List pdf icon PDF 122 KB


The Assistant Director LTC explained that the Priorities List had not been updated due to purdah, but felt that HE were now in a position to answer some of the questions. She stated that she would send the document to HE for their input.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 48 KB


The Chair stated that HE and the CEO of HE would be invited to the February Task Force meeting.