The Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation has outlined five investment priorities for Thurrock’s rail network that it considers essential for the successful regeneration of the area.

  • A relocated rail station at Purfleet
  • A new rail station at West Thurrock
  • Station enhancements to accommodate 12-car trains at Grays and the removal of the existing pedestrian crossing to provide a boulevard-style underpass pedestrian crossing
  • Upgrade of station access at Tilbury Town
  • Upgrade of rail station and provision of disabled access at East Tilbury

In its response to the Department for Transport’s Essex Thameside Franchise Consultation, the Corporation has focused on the areas in Thurrock that will undergo considerable regeneration as part of the government’s investment in the Thames Gateway. 

In particular, the Corporation considers the changes it is proposing for Purfleet station, as a part of its overall plans for regenerating the town, offer a once in a generation opportunity to transform Purfleet and to showcase a best practice exemplar new community with sustainable transport at its heart.

With additional retail floor space and large scale leisure opportunities planned for Lakeside, a new rail station at West Thurrock will be necessary to accommodate the expected growth in jobs and visitors and will provide an alternative to travel by car to Lakeside.

Grays has suffered from a long period of under-investment and the rail station is a central part of the proposed regeneration plans for the town.  Extended platforms and a modernised station are critical to accommodate the demands of a growing population and a new boulevard style pedestrian underpass would reconnect the town centre with the River Thames.

Local residents and respondents to consultation have continually called for improvements to access at Tilbury Town and East Tilbury rail stations.  The Corporation considers that upgrades are vital at both rail stations as plans for port expansion at Tilbury and the new London Gateway port increase demands on the facilities.

Summarising the Development Corporation’s response its Chairman, Will McKee said, “Reducing reliance on motor-vehicles, reducing carbon emissions and ensuring that places are accessible and well connected is critical to build sustainable communities where people want to live and work.

Railway stations should be attractive gateways that people want to use.  Unfortunately, in Thurrock, many rail stations are unattractive with poor facilities.  The successful franchisee, working with Department for Transport, Network Rail, the Development Corporation and its development partners has the potential to tackle these challenges.  The provision of modern facilities for existing and expanding communities will increasingly meet their transport needs, leading to increased passenger numbers and, therefore, greater revenue for the successful franchisee.”