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'This time it is going to happen' - council's third crossing promise

PUBLISHED: 16:39 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:39 07 September 2018

Connecting Lowestoft partners visited the project's key sites. Photo: Neil Didsbury

Connecting Lowestoft partners visited the project's key sites. Photo: Neil Didsbury

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Leaders from across Suffolk came together to discuss the ongoing work to transform Lowestoft and secure a bright economic future for the coastal town.

Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks was invited by Waveney MP Peter Aldous and Waveney District leader Mark Bee to visit the town and tour its ongoing infrastructure projects on Friday, September 7.

The meeting coincided with the renaming of the Lowestoft Transport and Infrastructure Project as ‘Connecting Lowestoft’.

Wavney District Council leader Councillor Mark Bee with Peter Aldous Waveney MP visit the site of the new Lake Lothing crossing. Photo: Neil DidsburyWavney District Council leader Councillor Mark Bee with Peter Aldous Waveney MP visit the site of the new Lake Lothing crossing. Photo: Neil Didsbury

Mr Bee said: “Lowestoft Transport and Infrastructure Project doesn’t roll off the tongue and therefore it doesn’t resonate with people in the community.

“Connecting Lowestoft ticks all the boxes, it’s about connectivity of transport, whether that be road, rail, or bicycle but also connectivity in the sense of broadband and those sort of projects.”

The site purchased for the new highway crossing of Lake Lothing. Photo: Neil DidsburyThe site purchased for the new highway crossing of Lake Lothing. Photo: Neil Didsbury

The collection of projects includes the Lake Lothing Crossing, the Permanent Flood Defence Scheme, along with improvement to rail connections and more sustainable transport such as walking and cycling routes.

Mr Bee admitted “cynicism” surrounding the Lowestoft’s third crossing, which will alleviate the town’s infamous traffic woes, was understandable but made moves to reassure residents the dream would soon become reality.

He said: “It’s been talked about since 1929 and people have heard it all before – but this time it is going to happen.”

With all things well the bridge should be fully operational by 2022.

Representatives from both the Suffolk and Waveney Chamber of Commerce, Environment Agency and New Anglia LEP were also in attendance.

And during a speech Mr Aldous highlighted the importance of the work.

He said: “Infrastructure is a vitally important component of bringing jobs to Lowestoft.

“This is about getting around Lowestoft better but it is also about connectivity to Lowestoft.”

Mr Hicks explained improving infrastructure in Lowestoft was a top priority for the county council.

He said: “Lowestoft is really important. It’s the second biggest town in Suffolk, part of the energy coast and there’s a significant port here.

“The significant time which has been spent on improving flood defences, the work towards the third crossing and trunk road shows that although the county council’s head office in Ipswich is a long way away we are really focused on delivering major projects here.”

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