AN MP has called on the Government to look again at plans to build a new Thames crossing to Southend or Canvey, after a security scare led to hours of delays at the Dartford crossing.

Jackie Doyle-Price, Tory MP for Thurrock, said Friday’s chaos, which saw motorists delayed for up to seven hours on the bridge and surrounding roads, showed the need foranew crossing east of Tower Bridge. Thousands of motorists travelling between Essex and Kent were caught up in the chaos on Friday, after a cylindrical device with wires was found on a Dover-bound coach.

A man was later detained under the Mental Health Act.

The Government favours another crossing cutting through the Thurrock countryside to link up with the M25.

However, Ms Doyle Price said: “Friday’s chaos proves there are not enough crossings east of Tower Bridge. When the Dartford crossing closes vast areas become car parks causing misery for motorists.

“It also illustrates the options under consideration are the wrong ones.

They would simply add to congestion on the M25 and the A13.

The Government needs to think again. A new crossing at Canvey offers the opportunity to link the M2 and the M11 and establish an outer ring road. Dependency on too few crossings brings real risk which costs our economy badly.”

“I have used the incident on Friday to ask the Government to look again at options D and E – a crossing at Canvey or at Southend.”