THURROCK Council has secured millions of pounds in funding to improve transportation across the borough.

Council leader, John Kent, congratulated the transportation team on Wednesday for their help in securing the funds.

He said: “First I think our transportation team needs to be congratulated for its hard behind-the-scenes work which secured this funding. We didn’t get all we asked for, but we did get a lot of money which will benefit local people.”

Cllr Kent said this included £7½ million for an integrated transport package for improving access to the London Gateway port from Stanford-le-Hope and reconstruction of the A1014 – The Manorway.

He added: “With contributions from partners already secured, this is a £12½ million project.

“There’s a further £5 million for improvements to our cycling network, and again we’ve built that up by a further million so we will have £6 million on improving the network.

“And we expect Thurrock to benefit by at least another £1 million as its share of the Thames Gateway South Essex Local Sustainable Transport Fund capital, money which will be used to develop and improve public transport connections across south Essex.

“But it’s the Stanford-le-Hope integrated transport package which will make a difference. Stanford station and its links with other transport schemes is a vital part in making sure the thousands of jobs at London Gateway and Thames Enterprise Park are accessible without causing gridlock.

“The aim is to improve the forecourt and interchange; create a new footbridge, cycle storage, bus stops, taxi provision, and drop-off spaces; plus improving the lighting, signing and resurfacing.”

He added: “We’ve already been in detailed – and successful - talks with c2c and Network Rail and I’d also like to thank c2c for their help with funding the study.”

On cycling, Cllr Kent said: “There are three parts to our plans for the network, making continuous off-road cycling and walking through the borough possible; improving the network by filling in the gaps in areas like Grays, Ockendon and Stanford; and developing the Thames Riverfront route from Purfleet to Corringham taking in the link between Tilbury and Coalhouse forts that many have wanted to see completed for many years.

“We’ll also be looking at creating new north-south links through the borough and expanding the network in areas where it is particularly underdeveloped at the moment.

“Having put forward our ideas top win the funding, in each of the three cases we’re now at the talking-with-partners and creating-detailed-proposals stage.”

Cllr Kent said the council would be running wide-ranging public consultations on the proposals “to make sure the people who actually use – or will use – these new services will be able to tweak and focus them” to make sure they the final schemes are what they want and need.