How long does it have to take to get the ball rolling on finding a solution?

We read this piece on Thurrock Nub News – Another call for action on Wharf Road lorry access problems – about the frustrations of residents in Wharf Road, Stanford-le-Hope, having to endure heavy lorry traffic going to and from the Stanhope Industrial Park. We thought to ourselves, ‘hang on, we wrote something about this a while back’. So, we had a quick trawl through our archives and found this post: Better late than never… – March 16, 2021.

Our post on the issue was written eleven months ago. When we wrote it, we were reasonably optimistic that by now, there would be visible signs of progress towards a solution. One that would involve building a link road eastwards from the Stanhope Industrial Park to join the approach road to the London Gateway Port. Obviously we realise that these things take time but having some updates on what was being done and why it’s taking time would have been appreciated. Let’s just say there’s been a dearth of information and that fed up residents in Stanford-le-Hope are still in the dark over what, if anything, is going to be done to sort this issue out.

While Wharf Road bears the brunt of the traffic going to and from the Stanhope Industrial Park, it has an impact of the rest of Stanford-le-Hope as well. Without wanting to give too much information away about our location, we live near to London Road and we often see heavy lorries trundling along there on the way to the industrial park. The same applies to Southend Road that takes the traffic coming down from the Manorway. It’s an issue for the whole town and one we’d like to see a solution to sooner rather than later.

With the Stanhope Industrial Park being located on the site of the former Fisons plant, obviously a precedent was set for industrial type activity to carry on there. That’s the way planning law ‘works’. Note the quote marks because it doesn’t work for hard pressed residents. In an ideal world, when Fisons vacated the site, there would have been a review into how the land should be used and given the poor road access, it should have been concluded that it was not suitable to be used as an industrial park. We don’t live in an ideal world and we are where we are.

Another opportunity to rectify the situation was missed when the London Gateway Port was developed on the site of the former Shellhaven oil refinery. It would have been easy to plan in a link road from the Stanhope Industrial Park to the access road to the port. All that was required was some joined up thinking, some flexibility and the political and commercial will to implement this. All of these qualities seem to be pretty much non-existent so we’re stuck with unwanted heavy lorry traffic trundling it’s way through Stanford-le-Hope.

A simple request – could us residents of Stanford-le-Hope have a full and honest update on what is happening with the link road? If not a lot is happening, could those with a responsibility for the situation please pull their fingers out and get things moving?

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