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Still closed: Link road to nowhere

PUBLISHED: 14:10 05 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:58 06 July 2010

IT has been dubbed as the main visitor car park for the beach area, but two years on from the planned opening of an £850,000 link road in Lowestoft the route is no nearer to being opened.

IT has been dubbed as the main visitor car park for the beach area, but two years on from the planned opening of an £850,000 link road in Lowestoft the route is no nearer to being opened.

Metal barriers, concrete boulders on pallets and obstacles have instead all been used to stop traffic from using the route as a legal debate rumbles on.

As first revealed by The Journal in June 2007, the link road would connect traffic from the Asda roundabout to the Clifton Road car park, but despite being completed more than 24 months ago, plans to open the road as the main entrance to the car park have failed to materialise.

The Kirkley Rise project was established to encourage links between the South Lowestoft Relief Road and the Kirkley area.

But the plans, which formed part of the connecting Kirkley infrastructure development project and were approved by Waveney District Council in late 2005, have been held up for over two years as legal negotiations continue between the landowners, Suffolk County Council and Waveney Council.

With the summer season fast approaching, and the possibility of more tourists being able to visit town and use the car park fears have been raised this week from frustrated residents and motorists who've been thwarted in their attempts to use the route.

Ralph Castleton, chairman of the Kirkley Poors' Land Estate Trustees which owns the land, said: “The car park is leased to Waveney Council, who control the parking on this land. The main part of Kirkley Rise has been built on land belonging to other parties over whom we have no control.

“The road has not been opened as agreements have not been reached between the landowners and Suffolk County Council, who constructed the road.”

But hopes are now high that the road will soon open.

Mr Castleton added: “The Trustees are very anxious to see the road opens so that proper use can be made of the car park this summer.”

A Waveney Council spokesman said: “Legal negotiations with land owners and related land valuations are ongoing and progress towards opening Kirkley Rise is being made.”

Once the route is finally opened, the road will not be a through route for vehicles to Clifton Road but it will instead provide a route from the relief road to the beach and the Kirkley shopping area.

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