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Major loss to town

PUBLISHED: 10:36 21 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:12 05 July 2010

HUNDREDS of people arrived at Lowestoft railway station on Saturday on a special excursion train from Birmingham.

The passengers spent their time in the town centre and on the sea front giving a much needed boost to shops, cafés and restaurants.

HUNDREDS of people arrived at Lowestoft railway station on Saturday on a special excursion train from Birmingham.

The passengers spent their time in the town centre and on the sea front giving a much needed boost to shops, cafés and restaurants.

It is unfortunate that these trains, of which there have been several in recent years, will no longer be coming to Lowestoft if the plans of regeneration company 1st East, supported by Waveney District Council, comes to fruition to close the present station, remove the railway lines and infrastructure, and establish a smaller station with “redesigned platform lengths”, almost a quarter-of-a-mile from the town centre facilities.

Despite massive opposition to this plan, 1st East and Waveney Council carry on regardless with details of their proposed course of action now to be found in the Waveney Prospectus - Environment and Infrastructure - Action Plan 9.5 - Investment Initiative EI-3.

One reason for this is they are considering a possible third crossing of Lake Lothing adjacent to the existing bascule bridge.

As most people will know, this will lead to more inconvenience for townsfolk, travellers and those passing through the town since the two bridges will open for shipping and yachts at almost the same time.

As a consequence of the plans for Lake Lothing we can expect longer bridge openings than at present, since they indicate in their plans more yachts using Lake Lothing in the future. Many of these will need access to the sea, leading to greater traffic disruption than now.

The fact that there are frequently serious traffic problems in Oulton Broad appears to be of no concern.

The problems in Oulton Broad are set to increase as more large housing schemes are passed by Waveney Council for Oulton, Oulton Broad and Carlton Colville, but strangely the 1st East preferred option, which is stated in their documentation, is a third crossing adjacent to the existing Lowestoft bridge and not in the Oulton Broad area. This will lead to the loss of a major town asset, a railway station capable of handling long trains and near to the town amenities.

Whilst on the subject of Lowestoft railway station, I would like to congratulate National Express staff there for receiving a further award for making the premises attractive to rail passenger, keeping the platforms, booking hall and concourse clean and tidy, and their positive commitment to the community.

MALCOLM R WHITE

Beeching Drive

Lowestoft

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