Leader welcomes Secretary of State’s support for Thames Estuary growth

Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE, Leader of the London of Bexley, welcomed today’s statement from Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, that the Thames Estuary has “the potential to deliver growth to support the success of the whole of the UK economy”. 

Mr Brokenshire visited Northfleet this afternoon (16 July). During the visit he took part in a discussion, chaired by Cllr O’Neill, on generating growth along the river, from London to Kent. 

“The Secretary of State’s visit demonstrates the importance of investment in the Thames Estuary,” said Councillor O’Neill. “London is key to the national economy and, with the right infrastructure, the Estuary has the land and connections to support its continued growth”. 

Councillor O’Neill was among a number of influential figures who welcomed last year’s report from the Thames Estuary 2050 Commission, chaired by Sir John Armitt. The Commission called for significant investment in the areas bordering the river east of the capital. In its report, the Commission highlighted Crossrail to Ebbsfleet as a top priority that should be delivered in the 2020s. The extension would link St Pancras, Canary Wharf and City Airport to Ebbsfleet and the Channel Tunnel. 

“Extending Crossrail to Ebbsfleet and into Kent is the completion of the original Crossrail proposal and needs to be prioritised,” said Councillor O’Neill. “The route is safeguarded and the line can be completed more quickly and at significantly lower cost than other infrastructure projects. There is also a clear return on investment.” 

Bexley has been working with Kent County Council and others to agree governance arrangements that will put responsibility for infrastructure projects in the Thames Estuary in the hands of local organisations, public and private.

Read more about the Crossrail to Ebbsfleet campaign