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Southend council sets out ambitious campaign for fourth Thames crossing and Crossrail extension

 Southend council have set out plans to campaign for an extension to Crossrail, a fourth river crossing east of the Lower Thames crossing, and a number of other infrastructure schemes in an ambitious five-year plan for the region.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has unveiled its draft five-year roadmap which outlines a number of schemes to boost rail, road, schools, homes and health services.

The plan, due to be debated by the cabinet on 6 November, features the launch of a campaign next year to have Crossrail, the east-west train line currently under construction, extended to Southend-on-Sea.

The £15.4bn project was recently hit with a nine month delay after major setbacks to station infrastructure and signalling, but the scheme was given a £350m short-term loan by the government last week to keep the project on track.

As part of the new strategy, the council wants a rail service linking Heathrow Airport and Shenfield to be extended to Southend the support the town’s airport.

The council plans to campaign for a fourth Thames river crossing in 2020 with the third crossing, a new 14.5 mile three-lane dual carriageway, already planned.

The local authority also wants to build a new outer relief road from a point near the A130 linking up to an area just north of Southend to speed up and streamline traffic flow in and out of the town.

Other milestones include the opening of the new Pier pavilion in 2021, the start of the Better Queensway regeneration scheme, and the first tenant moving into Airport Business Part Southend – both in 2021.

The deputy leader of Southend council, James Courtenay, said the five-year plan set out clear ambitions and direction for the council and region.

He said: “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.

“It will bring numerous economic and social benefits to the area. 

“However, 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 cabinet will be asked to approve the draft documents and refer them to all three November scrutiny documents.

 Image credit - VeeVerapat

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