In the least surprising piece of news we’ve heard in a while it turns out that the full completion of the A13 widening between the Orsett Cock roundabout and the junction with the Manorway will not be until May 2022. This is how Thurrock Nub News have covered it: Council tightlipped and implements ban on media communication as it is reported A13 widening disruption will run into May. That means yet more weekend closures, diversions and increased traffic levels in surrounding villages and towns. The consequences of that are a higher risk of road accidents and elevated levels of pollution. Which is why we keep banging on about this issue because quite frankly, residents in the eastern part of Thurrock have had enough! This is what we had to say about the adverse impact of the weekend closures a short while ago: Asking for a community… – November 24, 2021.

What makes the situation worse is the piss poor level of communication to residents from Thurrock Council who are sponsoring the widening, and Kier, the contractors implementing it. If residents had a full and honest explanation of why this project has been significantly delayed and why there have been so many weekend closures, perhaps they might be a little more understanding. Instead we’re faced with a wall of near silence that’s starting to make North Korea look positively open by comparison!

What’s really not helping a piss poor communications strategy is the churlish, immature refusal of Thurrock Council to openly engage with Thurrock Nub News on this and many other issues of concern to residents throughout the borough. Also, it turns out that Kier have been instructed by the council to not engage with Thurrock Nub News. All of this is because the editor of Thurrock Nub News, Neil Speight, takes his responsibilities as a local journalist seriously by doing what he can to put Thurrock Council on the spot and calling them to account for their policies and actions. The council do not like being put on the spot and have responded by blocking Neil Speight. As a consequence of this, residents in the east of Thurrock are left pretty much in the dark when it comes to trying to find out just what’s happening with the A13 widening.

We’ll conclude by saying that Thurrock Council need to grow up, open up their communications with all of the local media and when they’re put on the spot, to be prepared to face the music!