Stephen Metcalfe MP has today asked Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, if he will review whether the proposed Lower Thames Crossing is value for money, and if if fulfills it’s primary aim of releiving congestion at the Dartford Crossing. Mr Metcalfe put his questions to the Chancellor at the House of Commons today (Weds 4th Sept 2019) during the 2019 Spending Round.
Watch the question:
Stephen Metcalfe MP (South Basildon and East Thurrock)
“Thank you Mr Speaker, can I thank the Chancellor for his statement and particularly his focus on rebuilding our infrastructure, and of course he is right to ensure that it delivers value for money. Can I therefore ask that he has another look at the Lower Thames Crossing to ensure that it is delivering value for money, and also that it delivers it’s primary aim of relieving congestion at the existing Dartford Crossing.”
Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer (Bromsgrove)
“Mr Speaker first of all the general point my honourable friend makes about infrastructure, about value for money, he is of course absolutely right, and as we spend more on infrastructure we have got to make sure that principal is maintained. He has invited me to take a further look at the Lower Thames Crossing, I would be happy to that, and I’d also be happy to discuss it with him.”
We of course are delighted that Mr Metcalfe bought these points up to the Chancellor and look forward to an update after the Chancellor has further reviewed the value for money of the Lower Thames Crossing and discussed it with Mr Metcalfe. We will of course update the website with any updates on this as we receive them!
Stephen has posted the following to his own social media
“I have used his first week back in Westminster following the Summer Recess to raise concerns over the Lower Thames Crossing with the new Government.
I have met with both the new Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps to raise ongoing local concerns about the Lower Thames Crossing and used the Chancellors Autumn budget statement to question both the cost and effectiveness of the current proposals.
There is no doubt any new Lower Thames Crossing will have a huge impact on Thurrock and we need to make sure that it actually achieves the reduction in congestion promised.
My view has not changed. I remain convinced that neither route 3 or route 4 will actually tackle the problems we experience with catastrophic congestion when the existing crossing fails.
I remain convinced that we should focus our attention on the existing site and re-examine option such as option A14.
If there is an argument for an additional Lower Thames Crossing, then those should be made separately and not conflated with sorting out the existing crossing. I therefore think that if those arguments are found to be valid then we should examine options further East.”