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Widen the A13, LEP urges ministers

17 April 2014

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership wants the Government to fund the widening of the A13 dual carriageway  through Essex and Thurrock from two to three lanes in each direction. 

The A13 serves the Thames Gateway, including the new London Gateway port in Thurrock. SELEP describes the road corridor as the “single largest growth opportunity in the LEP area”. The dual carriageway is managed by local authorities through what SELEP describes as a “quirk of administrative history”. 

“Investigations have revealed that the only way to sufficiently increase capacity on the route is to widen the current dual carriageway to three lanes in both directions along its entire length at a cost of some £90m,” says SELEP. London Gateway has already pledged £10m to the project but SELEP says finding the remaining £80m is “clearly well beyond the means of Thurrock Borough Council and Essex County Council”.

“Recognising the national importance of this route we believe that this should be funded in its entirety by the Government either directly or through a specific allocation within the Local Growth Fund.” 

SELEP’s strategic economic plan focuses on 12 growth corridors, 11 of which are named after major roads (three also include the names of parallel railways). 

In all, SELEP is seeking £784.5m of Local Growth Fund over six years to help deliver 136 transport improvements with a total cost of £1.4bn. Most of the schemes are road projects but a  sizeable chunk of the bid (£154m) would help deliver a £258m package of ‘sustainable’ transport capital schemes. 

The local contribution (43.9%) to the £1.4bn package is expected to come from local authorities (12.3), developers (19.7%), and other sources such as Network Rail, the Highways Agency and borrowing via the Public Works Loan Board. 


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