Local MPs hold top talk with Transport Secretary over underpass upset

Frustrated MPs have met with the Secretary of State for Department of Transport to raise their concerns about a “congested” and “bottle-necked” level crossing.

Harwich and North Essex MP Bernard Jenkin and South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge explained the historic problems with a lack of capacity and congestion at Manningtree level crossing on Tuesday.

The pair continued to stress to the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling the need for a practical long-term solution.

The meeting, held in Parliament, was requested by the MPs in advance of a meeting that they have organised with stakeholders from both sides of the estuary.

Multiple councils including Essex County Council and Tendring council will attend alongside Network Rail, Greater Anglia and the Department for Transport.

Bernard Jenkin said: “The Manningtree level crossing has long been a cause of frustration and concern for local residents.

“I am pleased that we were able to outline the problems that exist to the Transport Secretary and I welcome his commitment to look into the matter.

“I am keen to find a solution to the traffic bottleneck with other local stakeholders as this is an important link between Essex and Suffolk.

James Cartlidge said the extent of the problem at the Manningtree level crossing has become increasingly clear.

He said: “It has now put a substantial economic development project in my constituency at peril at the Brantham industrial site.

“When you add this to long-standing commuter concerns about congestion at the crossing, Bernard Jenkin and I feel that the priority must now be to find a comprehensive solution to the crossing which tackles all related issues.

“I believe that this project should now become one of major consideration and I’m delighted that the Secretary of State is on board to help us progress matters.”


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