The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services gave the Committee a presentation on the Thurrock Transport Strategy. The presentation can be found on the following link:
The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services explained that his team with support from consultants are preparing an interim transport strategy. The current strategy runs until 2026 but was written back in 2011. They need to refresh the strategy so it aligns with the Local Plan. They need to consider how people will travel in the future.
The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services highlighted that they wanted to promote non-car journeys such as using the river more for freight and commuter journeys, increasing rail capacity and rail freight and improving walking and cycling routes. The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services also explained to the meeting about Electric vehicle car clubs which would allow residents to hire a car for an hour or a day which could reduce the need for residents to own a car in the future.
Integrated ticketing is also being looked at so commuters only need one bank card to use on all modes of transport as opposed to purchasing separate tickets.
Councillor Redsell thanked the Strategic Lead for Transportation Services for the presentation and noted the hard work that goes into it. Councillor Redsell stated that she was pleased that using the river more was mentioned and that she would like to see more images of Thurrock in future presentations.
Councillor Worrall commented that she liked the idea that you might not need to own a car in the future as it is very costly but currently she would not feel safe walking to a train station at night.
The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services explained that as they bring forward the local plan and build new developments they can ensure that things are put into the design to promote safety.
The Local Plans Manager confirmed that the Local Plan looks at all these issues holistically and if you create a vibrant High Street and early evening economy this can make places seem more welcoming and safer at night. The Local Plans Manager clarified that they wont just be looking at new developments but also how to improve current places.
Councillor Redsell highlighted that many people still need to make long journeys to visit family who live far away and using a car remains the easiest and quickest way to travel as with trains you need to travel into London to change trains.
The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services responded that electric vehicle car hire has real potential for people who want to use a car for infrequent long journeys.
Councillor Redsell commented that more electric car power points were needed.
Councillor Arnold queried if there had been any discussions with Kent County Council about getting more ferries.
The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services confirmed that there was no specific work being done with Kent on this at the current time.
Councillor Watson raised concern for transport links for the elderly residents in villages especially as three bus routes are currently out for consultation to be cut.
The Strategic Lead for Transportation Services responded that it is difficult to get bus services to accommodate all areas and especially rural areas. It is hoped that there may be improvements to the MRT network funded through new developments which can then be extended to rural areas.