A councillor in the borough of Thurrock in southwest Essex is warning that the area many not be able to cope with the number of construction workers building the Lower Thames Crossing and a theme park across the Thames in north Kent.
Local paper the Echo reports that Chris Stratford, senior consultant advising Thurrock Council on the crossing, told councillors on Monday nine meetings have been held with Highways England on 58 measures which will mitigate the impact of the scheme.
It says Mr Stratford said eight of these had been vetoed by Highways England, including smart speed limits that can respond to traffic problems and pollutants, along with housing for workers.
Mr Stratford is quoted as saying, “They have provision on site for 480 workers within their current scheme – 80 are people working in the deep tunnel then 400 normal workers and they are proposing any other workers either travel to the site or use local accommodation.”
The Echo also quotes John Kent, Conservative councillor for Grays Thurrock, as saying, “I’m interested to hear the numbers of workers that will come into the area to build this at the very same time there will be tens of thousands of people working on Paramount Park across the water.
“I am really concerned that the area won’t be able to cope with that number of workers. It’s not only about the pressure it puts on local housing, it’s the pressure it puts on all sorts of services whether that’s health services, doctors, policing as well as the impact on the local road network, so I do think we need to be really clear how they intend to house that number of people while they are here working.”
UPDATE – Highways England has responded saying it is working with local authorities to minimise disruption.
(Picture – Highways England)