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Third crossing plans unveiled

PUBLISHED: 14:10 17 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:13 06 July 2010

THE preferred choice for a third river crossing in Yarmouth to ease traffic congestion will be made in the autumn, it was revealed last night.

The announcement that Norfolk County Council's cabinet will discuss a £80m bridge or a £180m tunnel came as letters were delivered to homes that may be demolished to make way for the possible new crossing across the River Yare.

THE preferred choice for a third river crossing in Yarmouth to ease traffic congestion will be made in the autumn, it was revealed last night.

The announcement that Norfolk County Council's cabinet will discuss a £80m bridge or a £180m tunnel came as letters were delivered to homes that may be demolished to make way for the possible new crossing across the River Yare.

It is believed the cheaper bridge option spanning 90m from the Harfreys roundabout and parts of Southtown to South Denes area will be the preferred choice for planners.

If government and European funding and planning approval is secured for the bridge, it could be built from 2018 and would see up to 35 homes compulsorily purchased so they can be knocked down to make way for it.

As part of a two-month consultation process, letters are being hand delivered to any homes that may need to be demolished or will be affected by noise levels from any new crossing.

The letters reassure home owners that if they cannot sell their homes because of the proposals, they will be bought at the market price by the council if they must be knocked down.

Compensation can also be paid to any homes affected by noise once the crossing is up and running.

The new bridge is needed as it is predicted that more traffic will flow into the town in the next 20 years as 12,000 people and new businesses move to the area.

It is estimated that the new bridge would lead to up to 20pc less traffic at the town's congested Breydon and Haven bridges and other main routes into town.

“It would also be used by pedestrians and have cycle lanes.

Private companies may be invited to help finance the bridge and motorists may have to pay tolls to cross to help fund the project.

If the tunnel option is chosen instead, it will cost £180m and not be open to pedestrians - but will divert 25,000 vehicles a day from other routes - compared to the bridge's predicted 15,000 movements.

The full plans of the proposed bridge or tunnel crossing will be on display at a public exhibition in Yarmouth's Market Place on Friday and Saturday. On June 26 and 27, the plans will be on display at the Morrisons car park in Gorleston.

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