This week the Government has pledged millions to support the future vision for the Thames Estuary which takes in North Kent as well as South Essex and East London.
The ambitious plan is aimed at opening-up the area’s economic potential. This multi-million-pound funding package is to support the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission’s vision of creating more than one million jobs in the area by 2050.
The plans include £4.85m to support developments for enhancing transport links between Ebbsfleet and Abbey Wood, appointing a Cabinet-level ministerial champion who will advocate for the region and the launch of a strategic campaign to promote the Thames Estuary as a great place to work, live and do business.
I welcome this huge investment plan which will help create jobs and boost the local economy and I am very pleased the Government has announced there will be a top-level minister championing our area.
Since I became the local MP, Dartford has grown considerably and with thousands of new homes still to come in Ebbsfleet Garden City, we need to ensure major transport links are in place. Key to this is completing the job of extending Crossrail, as well as ensuring the new Lower Thames Crossing is built on time.
Following the decision to build the LTC in April 2017, planning for it is well underway. With this second crossing expected to add 70% additional road capacity in the region, we need to ensure it is built by the scheduled date in 2027 so that pressure is taken away from Dartford.
Announcing this strategy, the Communities Secretary and Old Bexley and Sidcup MP, James Brokenshire said the Thames Estuary has ‘enormous untapped potential’.
I hope these new measures, as well as the new LTC, will mark the beginning of a new era of growth for the region.