"Judge us by our actions" says transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin on Lowestoft third crossing boat trip
PUBLISHED: 12:10 27 March 2015 | UPDATED: 12:10 27 March 2015
"Judge us by our actions" - those were the words of transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin as he took to a boat over Lake Lothing and reassured people the government is giving full consideration to a third crossing for the town.
In an addition to his visit to Lowestoft to officially open the town’s Northern Spine Road yesterday (Thursday, March 26), Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee suggested he board a vessel from Lowestoft Marina.
He and Waveney MP Peter Aldous then showed him the two potential locations - the ‘eastern’ option, as favoured by consultants WSP, and the ‘central’ location, proposed by businessman Peter Colby - as the boat went from the Marina, in School Road, up to the Bascule bridge.
The locations are set to be looked at in more detail as part of a study to be done using £2million allocated from last week’s Budget to assess the impacts of a third crossing scheme.
Mr McLoughlin said: “Peter secured a debate on this issue in Parliament a few weeks ago and the government is very keen on infrastructure spending, because we know that if you get the right infrastructure you get the right investment.”
Asked whether people should have confidence in the government delivering a third crossing scheme given years of delay over the issue, Mr McLoughlin said: “Things that have been in the past are in the past - we have got to look at today’s problems.
“Our opponents had 13 years where they could’ve done something. This is the first time new money has been made available for this scheme.
“Judge us by our actions - and our actions are that we’ve invested £38billion in the rail network and, as far as East Anglia is concerned, investment in the A14 and A47.
“This region has had more money spent on infrastructure in the past five years than it had in the previous 30.”
Most politicians visiting Lowestoft have had to contend themselves with seeing the potential locations from the roadside.
However Mr Bee said: “This is a really good way of actually seeing it and seeing the impact it would have on Lake Lothing.
“We are never going to get this bridge unless we lobby as many people as we can and bringing him down to the lake gives him a much better view.”
Mr Aldous added: “You actually see it from a different perspective, as you can see what is going on around the area and how Lake Lothing divides the town. You don’t get that when you’re on land.
He added that it also helped “reallt demonstrate how a third crossing is going to regenerate the wider area”.
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