Budget cash will fund detailed analysis into Lowestoft’s third crossing

The Bascule bridge, Lowestoft.

The Bascule bridge, Lowestoft. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Further analysis is to be done on where to locate Lowestoft's long-awaited third crossing using a £2million windfall from Chancellor George Osborne's Budget - after the public gave a resounding 'no' to a council's preferred option.

Suffolk County Council had backed a report by consultants WSP saying a new bridge in an 'eastern' location, near to the existing Bascule bridge, would be the most cost-effective option.

But a petition by Lowestoft resident Mike Holroyd has since revealed - by a tally of 600 to nil - that members of the public preferred a 'central' option over Lake Lothing as proposed by businessman Peter Colby.

However the money given by the government to the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will now enable further assessment into which is the best option, as well as more detailed plans for the design of the bridge and examination of the chosen scheme's wider traffic impacts on the area.

Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee said that could include a central location - although if it was, it would be a bridge and not Mr Colby's barrage idea, because he said that would affect the operations of the ABP port.

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'This allows us to be more ambitious and be able to look at the wider traffic implications,' he said.

A statement from Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: 'A central location has advantages in that it provides the most direct link between the Northern Spine Road and the Southern Relief Road.'

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However it added: 'It is important that the design and location of the crossing does not interfere with the potential of the port and those businesses based there to attract jobs in the emerging offshore wind sector.

'This is why the third crossing must be a bridge, not a barrage.'

Bob Blizzard, Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Waveney, said: 'They should simply save their money, listen to the people and use the money to get on with the crossing.

'People are fed up with feasability studies and money being spent on them - they should simply listen to the people.'

He added that it was 'appalling' Mr Bee and Mr Aldous had ruled out Mr Colby's proposal, saying it shows the pair 'haven't got an open mind'.

Mr Colby said: 'The people of Lowestoft will just say why, why why. We know what we want.'

Waveney District Council leader Colin Law said: 'This funding is another boost for the area and an indication that this issue is being taken seriously.

'The priority for everyone is to deliver a robust case for the best possible solution and this money will contribute to the delivery of that.'

Where do you think Lowestoft's third crossing should be located? Write, giving your full contact details, to: Journal Postbox, 147 London Road North, Lowestoft NR32 1NB or email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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