Venue: South Essex College, High Street, Grays, RM17 6TF - Room W1.23
Contact: Lucy Tricker, Senior Democratic Services Officer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force meeting held on 14 February 2022.
The minutes of the meeting from the Lower Thames Crossing Task Force held on 14 February 2022 were approved as a true and 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.
The Interim Assistant Director Regeneration
and Place Delivery introduced the report and stated that the
Manorway junction, Orsett Cock roundabout, Daneholes junction,
Marshfoot junction, and the Asda roundabout were all at risk of
being impacted once the LTC was operational. He added that during
the construction of the LTC Corringham, Horndon, Orsett, and
Chadwell St Mary were also at risk of becoming rat runs. He moved
on and explained that the A13/Orsett Cock junction would form part
of the wider LTC/A13/A1089 interchange, but the Orsett Cock was a
critical junction for existing communities and future local plan
growth sites. He stated that the LTC could result in significant
traffic flow increases on the A13 east of the LTC, as models were
predicting an increase of 15% during morning rush hour, and a 24%
increase during the evening rush hour. He explained that growth in
cross river traffic via the LTC would be the most significant cause
of the increase in traffic on the A13, as the LTC could increase
the number of cross-river trips by 50%. The Interim Assistant
Director Regeneration and Place Delivery stated that National
Highways (NH) were currently undertaking micro-simulation traffic
modelling to fully assess LTC impacts and develop proposals to
improve the Orsett Cock junction, which had never been undertaken
before. He stated that the Council were currently waiting for
National Highways (NH) to complete further modelling, and the
Council were asking for access to this model, rather than receiving
outputs. He added that the Council had taken the opportunity to
observe traffic patterns within Orsett during the temporary weekend
closures of the Orsett Cock, which had taken place during the
construction of the current remodelling of the junction. He stated
that data had been collected for 22 days between Thursday 19 August
2021 and Thursday 9 September 2021, which had included two weekend
closures, and had shown that the future closures of the A13 and
Orsett Cock due to LTC construction would be likely to have
significant impact on the village due to increased traffic. He
added that the future operation and improvements for the junction
would need to consider the future local growth aspirations and
measures to promote walking, cycling and bus usage.
National Highways Consultation - Verbal Update
The Interim Assistant Director Regeneration and Place Delivery explained that NH were currently reviewing their options for a consultation, and would be making an announcement regarding the proposed consultation at the end of this week. The Chair felt that as little promotion had occurred for the consultation and it was due to start soon, the consultation would be postponed. Councillor Byrne confirmed that NH had cancelled the hall they had booked for their consultation event next month and were looking to rearrange. The Chair questioned what areas would be included in the consultation. The Interim Assistant Director confirmed that it would be a refinement consultation, although the Council had suggested that the consultation be broader in scope as lots of areas had changed and developed since the previous consultation. He stated that many stakeholders and residents wished to see what how their previous consultation responses had affected the scheme, and the Council had urged NH to include this in the upcoming consultation. He stated that the consultation would capture the changes that were being proposed to the Tilbury Fields area, as one third of this land had been granted to the Freeport. He added that the consultation would also capture the changes that were being proposed at the Orsett Cock/A13/LTC junction. The Resident Representative highlighted that one of the reasons the previous DCO had been withdrawn was due to a lack of public consultation and felt that this upcoming consultation should rectify this issue and allow local residents to give their feedback on the overall scheme. The Interim Assistant Director stated that NH had to meet a necessary threshold regarding the level of consultation, and officers felt that this consultation would not meet the required threshold. He stated that the team had categorised all outstanding LTC issues and hundreds of these issues fell into the most urgent category. He felt that these issues should be answered before the proposed consultation began. The Chair stated that when the consultation went live, an invitation should be extended to NH to attend a Task Force meeting.
Health Impact Assessment - Verbal Update
The Interim Assistant Director Regeneration and Place Delivery stated that there was no update regarding the Health Impact Assessment (HIA), but the team continued to press NH on this issue and were waiting for answers. He explained that a CIPHAG meeting had been held on 27 January and another meeting would be held in late March. The Chair stated that the Task Force felt frustrated with the lack of information from NH on this issue, and hoped to see more information presented soon.
The Chair stated that the next Task Force meeting was scheduled during purdah and would likely be cancelled. The TCAG Representative added that the TCAG had called on government to pause the smart motorways scheme and had recently sent evidence on this to the government and Secretary of State. She added that TCAG were also calling on the government to re-open the RIS2 scheme and the Transport Action Network had done the same. She stated that NH Annual Report 2021 had stated that the failure to progress the LTC scheme posed a risk for NH, and TCAG hoped that the Secretary of State would review this.