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Southend Council calls for Crossrail extension and another Thames crossing

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Southend Council has called for a Crossrail extension to Southend-on-Sea, as well as another river crossing east of the Lower Thames crossing.

As part of the new strategy, the council also plans to build a congestion busting outer relief road on the outskirts of the town.

As part of its five-year roadmap, the council has outlined plans to begin lobbying for the infrastructure projects.

The draft plan outlines a Crossrail extension campaign, which will begin in 2019, with “campaigning for a further river crossing east of Lower Thames crossing” to start in 2020.

There has been previous support for a Crossrail extension to Ebbsfleet, with government infrastructure tsar Sir John Armitt backing the proposal. Revised plans for the Lower Thames crossing connecting the M2 near Rochester in Kent with the M25 in Essex between North and South Ockenden were revealed earlier this month. 

Deputy council leader James Courtenay said: “Our draft five-year plan for the borough demonstrates a clear ambition and clear direction of what we want to do and what we want to achieve as a council and also as a place.

“We know that Southend-on-Sea and south Essex as a whole is going to grow in the future, and we are working with council across south Essex on that.

He added: “We are also adamant that this must be infrastructure led and that is why we are planning to campaign for a road to the east and aim to secure funding for it by 2023, call for Crossrail to be extended to Southend-on-Sea and also help make the case for a further river crossing to the east of the proposed Lower Thames Crossing.”

The council’s cabinet is being asked to approve the draft proposals and refer them to all three November scrutiny committees for further comments before consideration by a special cabinet on 4 December.  

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