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Petition for third crossing

PUBLISHED: 14:02 25 March 2008 | UPDATED: 19:59 05 July 2010

I WAS among the thousands who put their names to the Downing Street petition for a third crossing for Lowestoft.

Of course Waveney MP Bob Blizzard made legitimate comment suggesting we would be better advised to sign his petition.

I WAS among the thousands who put their names to the Downing Street petition for a third crossing for Lowestoft.

Of course Waveney MP Bob Blizzard made legitimate comment suggesting we would be better advised to sign his petition. However, what is clear is the significant local demand for action and I fear it would be a sad day for democracy if procedural niceties were allowed to scupper the project. Both avenues have brought the strength of feeling to the attention of government.

What was interesting was the timing of the government rebuff.

It came in a week when we were not only reminded of the need to reduce energy usage and emissions but, courtesy of the Chancellor, presented with a number of punitive measures should we maintain our current levels of consumption. The subject merits further comment.

The current situation, with two crossings, exacerbated by the railway crossing at Oulton Broad, results in lengthy traffic queues. Thousands of vehicles stopped or extremely slow moving with an attendant excessive use of fuel, the precious resource we are all being browbeaten into conserving.

Free-flowing traffic consumes far less fuel, as even the most rudimentary measurements will confirm, so surely it should be a major factor in the equation.

The government appear to ignore this, rejecting the proposal on a cost basis alone. They apply more pressure on the premise we will use alternative transport, but public transport, on a commercial basis, will never be a viable alternative in a largely rural area like ours.

The car is the thing. Targets have been set, but current thinking prefers to alienate public opinion by littering and industrialising the landscape with wind turbines rather than pursuing solutions which will not only meet with public approval, but probably have a greater impact on reducing fossil fuel consumption, associated with climate change.

The case for a third crossing can be strengthened enormously, certainly morally, if environmental considerations are included, but this is not going to happen.

Where renewable energy projects will allow consumption, and the revenue from it, to remain at current levels, better traffic flow will not. It may reduce pollution, by reducing consumption, but less fuel sold means lower revenue for the treasury.

It seems that we are being entreated to reduce our carbon footprint, made to feel ashamed of our excess, by a government that declares that the planet is doomed if we do not act, but itself will only do so if the price is right.

ANTHONY GOWER

Black Street

Gisleham

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