Agenda item

Lower Thames Crossing Task Force Update Report (Decision: 110606)


Councillor Massey introduced the report and stated that it provided an update on the work of the Task Force from November 2021 until January 2022. He stated that the November meeting had been postponed until December, and the Task Force had received a presentation from the Transport Action Network, which had detailed various legal challenges which could relate to the LTC, for example changes in the government’s climate and environmental regulations. He explained that questions had been asked regarding the World Health Organisation (WHO) regulations on PM2.5, the Climate Change Act and low carbon budgets. He felt that electric vehicles would play an important part in the future of the UK travel network, and these were discussed by the Task Force in relation to the LTC, particularly possible future options relating to LGVs and HGVs becoming non-petrol/diesel.

Councillor Massey moved on and explained that the December agenda included an update on the Hatch Report, which had become a regular item for the Task Force. He stated that some of the Hatch measures were proving difficult to secure, and the Task Force had raised concern regarding smart speed limits, legacy worker accommodation, air quality and noise pollution along the route, and HGV routes during construction phase. He explained that work was ongoing between the Council and National Highways regarding these mitigation measures. Councillor Massey explained that carbon hubs were also discussed during the meeting, but more definition was required regarding how they would be incorporated into the LTC, as well as potential issues regarding the historic landfill along the coast.

Councillor Massey explained that at the January meeting of the Task Force they had discussed the impact of the Thames Freeport on the LTC, mainly around the local road connectivity to the LTC. He stated that the Council were working with Thames Gateway, Port of Tilbury, and DP World to discuss the implications of the LTC. He explained that, as suggested by Cabinet, the main areas of discussion had included the A13 Manorway and A13 Orsett Cock junctions, as the current plans were not seen as optimal by the Council, which could lead to an increase in traffic around the ports. He stated that one road that both the Council and the ports would be pushing for in Development Consent Order version 2 (DCOv2) would be the Tilbury Link Road, as this would provide some local connectivity to the LTC. He commented that the Task Force remained concerned regarding the lack of available baseline health impact and traffic data from National Highways, as much of this information may not be available until after DCOv2 submission. He stated that concern was also raised across the Task Force regarding the expected future consultation that could be held during purdah. He summarised and stated that the Task Force would be meeting on Monday 14 March, and would be discussing the Orsett Cock/A13 junction, as well as the latest proposed consultation.

The Leader confirmed that he had written to National Highways regarding their suggestion of holding a consultation during purdah. Councillor Coxshall agreed that there should be no consultation during the purdah period and thanked Cabinet and the LTC Task Force for their sustained pressure on the matter. He highlighted that the new Freeport required sufficient connectivity for both residents and businesses, for example at the Asda roundabout. He felt that the LTC needed to include provision for local connectivity as this could benefit both residents and the port, for example additional connections and junctions between the local road network and the proposed LTC. The Leader thanked Councillor Massey for this consistent attendance at Cabinet to provide regular update on the work of the Task Force, and felt pleased to see the approach the Task Force were taking and the feedback they were receiving.

RESOLVED: That Cabinet:

1. Noted the work of the Task Force

Reason for decision: as outlined in the report
This decision is subject to call-in

Councillor Massey left the meeting at 7.36pm.

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