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Councillor accuses government of "wasting the opportunity" following Dartford Crossing debate

PUBLISHED: 12:41 19 January 2016 | UPDATED: 13:46 19 January 2016

The Dartford Crossing

The Dartford Crossing

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The debate was held last Wednesday

Dartford Labour Leader Jonathon Hawkes has criticised the government after accusing them of ‘wasting the opportunity’ of a Dartford Crossing debate.

While a decision looms on the site of a new Thames Crossing, the debate on the current crossing was held last week, in an attempt to discuss delays that build up in the surrounding areas.

But Cllr Hawkes said: “The debate was a huge wasted opportunity to make progress on an issue that is causing misery for thousands of people across Dartford.

“What Dartford residents wanted to see from this debate was a clear plan of action to start to ease the delays that regularly cause congestion across our town. Instead, what we got was just warm words, complacency and no plan to start to address the problem.

“The truth is that the Conservatives in Dartford have presided over the growing traffic gridlock and they have no idea how to resolve it. It’s easy for Gareth Johnson and Jeremy Kite to criticise Dart Charge today, but they were the people overseeing its introduction and predicting that congestion would be reduced.”

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson has replied to the comments.

He said: “Councilllor Hawkes’ comments give me the opportunity to point out that not a single Labour MP attended the debate.

“If the Labour Party party cared about this area then why didn’t any of their MPs or the Shadow Minister attend the debate? It was only Conservatives who attended. Yet whenever there is a row in the Labour Party about their internal problems they all seem to turn up.”

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