Will Lowestoft's third crossing be delayed?
PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:51 11 December 2019
Fears have been raised that the search for constructors for the multi-million pound new Lowestoft third crossing will cause delays to work going ahead.
In October Suffolk County Council announced it had launched a tender for the construction phase of the Lake Lothing crossing.
But various parts of the engineering trade press had reported this was because BAM Nutall - the firm which had carried out the first phase for designs - could not agree a price with the council for the construction.
According to council leader Matthew Hicks, a Conservative, securing "best value for money" for taxpayers was important.
He said: "We are making excellent progress and the project remains on schedule.
"The opening was always going to be 2022 as we always said and nothing has changed.
"We did work with BAM Nuttall collaboratively on stage one, and we must make sure we get value for money for taxyapers, and that's what we are doing.
"It would be wrong not to get the best value for money."
A council spokesman said it was "standard practice" in the industry.
It is understood that the original contract allowed BAM Nuttall to make a bid for the construction work - but officers felt there was a disparity between what the firm wanted and what the council was willing to pay.
However Sonia Barker, Labour parliamentary candidate for Waveney, raised fears it would mean delays to the scheme.
She said: "I am most concerned about the revelation that Suffolk County Council has reportedly issued 'a new tender for the construction of the Lake Lothing Third Crossing road project in Lowestoft after 'failing to reach agreement on a price with BAM Nutall'.
"Bearing in mind, we were all told in Lowestoft by former Conservative prime minister David Cameron in May 2015, when he swept into the Lowestoft Journal Office just before the general election of 2015."
"Prime minister Cameron promised the third crossing would be built by 2020, which altered the outcome of the 2015 general election.
"This new information can only point to further delay."