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New hope for Lowestoft's third crossing

PUBLISHED: 18:32 09 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:50 05 July 2010

THE first step was taken today on what is likely to prove a long road for Lowestoft to get its much-needed third crossing.

The Highways Agency, with the support of Transport Minister Tom Harris MP, has agreed to Waveney MP, Bob Blizzard's request to compensate Lowestoft by funding preliminary studies required to draw up a scheme for a third crossing.

THE first step was taken today on what is likely to prove a long road for Lowestoft to get its much-needed third crossing.

The Highways Agency, with the support of Transport Minister Tom Harris MP, has agreed to Waveney MP, Bob Blizzard's request to compensate Lowestoft by funding preliminary studies required to draw up a scheme for a third crossing.

The MP called for compensation following botched repair works to the town's bascule bridge, which have seen three spectacular failures to reopen the bridge after overnight work and a massive overrun of the whole contract, which is still not due to be completed until the autumn - over a year since work began.

Bob Blizzard said: “This is the best way for the Highways Agency to make it up to Lowestoft. At last we can make some progress towards what Lowestoft needs most and what people most want. The saga of the bridge repairs has underlined how much we need a Third Crossing. But as yet we don't even have a scheme to put forward in a funding bid.

“The Highways Agency recently admitted that the repairs have been a disaster. I have argued that disasters must not be allowed to happen again and so unless we start devising a scheme now the whole debacle could be repeated in 20 years time.”

At a meeting in the House of Commons today it was agreed that the Highways Agency would carry out work to determine where a third crossing should be situated.

This is vital to enable the regeneration plan for Lake Lothing, devised by 1st East, to be fulfilled. Suffolk County Council and 1st East will fully engage with this work.

“This is an important step forward and sets the ball rolling for a third crossing”, said Bob Blizzard, “although there is clearly a long way to go.”

It was agreed that the study would be completed by the autumn so that a scheme for a third crossing could be included on the regional list to be formulated at the end of the year.

At the same time, Suffolk County Council have also won Bob Blizzard's backing for their moves to develop the northern spine link in north Lowestoft as well as improvements to the railway.

Speaking after the meeting, Guy McGregor, Conservative portfolio holder for Roads and Transport at Suffolk County Council, described the outcome as “Good news for Lowestoft”, and said: “I am really am delighted by this outcome.”

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