Stanford-le-Hope railway station – the farce rolls on

On Tuesday 9 February, there was a meeting of Thurrock Council’s planning, transport, regeneration overview and scrutiny committee: Will there be housing on station car park site? Can a bus really turn round here? And why can’t council give any guarantees that budget won’t be bust again? A meeting that as you read through this lengthy report, you’ll realise was inconclusive with no firm answers being given to some very pointed questions.

A visual of what the bus turning/car parking area on the other side of the main road from the main part of the station was presented. It’s included in the graphic above. Suffice to say, that looks like quite a tight turn just to get a bus into the turning area, let alone turn around in it! Also, it was pointed out at the meeting that the site for the turning area is currently not level and as we saw recently with the heavy rain, prone to flooding in parts. That was brushed aside by the council officer (Anna Eastgate – assistant director for transport infrastructure) present at the meeting. Basically, we’re still nowhere near ever seeing the railway station getting rebuilt.

You may be interested to know that Eastgate is reportedly due to depart from Thurrock Council to take up a directorship at Southend Council. What a lovely little merry-go-round this is… You will also be interested to hear that Thurrock Council’s ‘director of place’, Andy Millard, is also due to quit the council to reportedly take up a new life in the south of France! Nice work if you can get it… Meanwhile, the staff and users of Stanford-le-Hope railway station are wondering when they’ll ever see the new station they were promised.

All the while, the question of who the f**k sanctioned the demolition of the buildings at the railway station while plans and costings were no where near being finalised remains unanswered after two years. Also absent is any hint of an apology to the staff and users of the station who’ve had to put up with two years of working in and travelling to and from what to all intents and purposes is a demolition site. Our patience is running thin…

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