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New road and rail for £1bn port expansion

Shipping containers

Plans for a £1bn expansion of the Port of Tilbury, near the site of the proposed Lower Thames Crossing, could see rail sidings and a bypass built to transport the extra cargo coming in.

As part of the initial planning, Highways England has just appointed Atkins to provide spatial planning services for the roads around the docks.

The existing 445ha Port of Tilbury processes 16M.t of cargo each year, with a focus on construction materials. It is the UK’s third biggest container terminal.

However, site owner Forth Ports is looking to expand as it expects demand to double in the next 15-20 years.

As a result, a £1bn expansion has been proposed for the site of the disused Tilbury Power Station, 1km east of the existing port. The Port of Tilbury has already purchased the 62ha of land, which includes a deep water jetty, which makes it easier for large global cargo ships to dock.

Known as Tilbury 2, the site will include a new facility for processing bulk construction materials and areas of storage for other goods such as cars. A new rail link is proposed to reduce the number of vehicles going to the site, and a further link road will join up the new port and the existing site while providing access for pedestrians and cyclists.

The project is still at an early stage: an initial consultation finished on 21 April, while a second consultation will take place in June. It is hoped an application for a development consent order (planning permission) will be made later this year.

In a separate development, the UK’s largest warehouse is being developed at Tilbury for Amazon to occupy later this year.

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