Simon Thomson, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Dartford, has criticised the announcement from the government that a decision on the location of new Lower Thames Crossing is now been further delayed.
The delay in the decision, which is now not expected to be made until 2016, will mean more uncertainty for people in Dartford. Labour in Dartford is clear that further delay is unacceptable and believes the case has already been made to rule Dartford out as a possible location.
Simon Thomson said this morning:
“Local people will be dismayed at the news that this decision has been delayed yet again. There is no case to build the new crossing in Dartford, but this dithering by the government is just going to create more uncertainty for local people and businesses. It’s another example of the government and Dartford’s Conservative MP letting local people down over the crossing.
“Over the last year Gareth Johnson had the opportunity to influence the government to rule out Dartford as a potential location for the new crossing. He’s failed to do that and seems happy to see the uncertainty for Dartford drag on. I don’t believe that’s good enough from the town’s MP. I will campaign strongly against a new crossing being built here. The fact is that over a year after the consultation was launched, the prospect of another crossing at Dartford is still very much on the table and the Conservatives have done nothing to put local people’s minds at rest.
“The government should not be considering building another crossing in Dartford when we know doing so will simply cause even more congestion and pollution in our town. Instead of conveniently kicking the decision into the long grass, I’m calling for the government to end the uncertainty and rule Dartford out now”
Labour Leader on Dartford Council, Geoff Prout, commented:
“It’s short-sighted of the government to use the introduction of the Dart Charge Scheme as an excuse to delay a decision on the location of a new crossing. The removal of the barriers and plazas is welcome but that will not address the problem of future capacity in our road network, nor deliver the economic growth that building a crossing further east will. That’s the real issue the government needs to tackle. It’s clear that Dartford cannot support another crossing, and the continued threat that the government may build one here is bad for both.