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Town to see postive changes in New Year

PUBLISHED: 09:57 28 December 2007 | UPDATED: 19:21 05 July 2010

THE start of the New Year brings with it fresh intentions and beginnings for many of us.

Kicking a bad habit, starting a diet, spending less in order to recover from the expense of the Christmas period - just a few New Year's resolutions which might be being thought up as we venture into 2008.

THE start of the New Year brings with it fresh intentions and beginnings for many of us.

Kicking a bad habit, starting a diet, spending less in order to recover from the expense of the Christmas period - just a few New Year's resolutions which might be being thought up as we venture into 2008.

Even if you give something up as part of your resolution, like smoking, you still open a door to the start of something new - in the case of quitting smoking, you take on a healthier lifestyle. 2008 is also a year which will be life changing for a number of young people - students in their third and final year of University studies, such as myself, are preparing to complete their degree and graduate, embarking on their chosen career paths and carving out their vocational futures.

Daunting, but exciting and very rewarding at the same time!

2008 will see quite a few changes for Lowestoft, continuing the many alterations and developments seen throughout the duration of the previous year. There are plans to develop the derelict areas around the business park near Asda, which would continue the regeneration of the town.

After what seems like light years of planning and discussions, a brand new state-of-the-art concrete skate bowl in Lowestoft looks set to be built in the coming months, along with upgraded children's play facilities in rural areas of Waveney. This long awaited news comes after this week's announcement that Waveney District Council has secured over £275,000 in funding from the Big Lottery to provide new play facilities in the district.

I don't think I'm alone in believing that the young people of the town need something to keep them occupied, and anyone who disagrees might want to think again. Talks of a skate park started years ago, so it really is about time things got moving on this one. I believe that something as big as this will be respected and cared for, and users will certainly make the most out of it.

Those on two wheels can now at last mix with those on two legs, as a recent change in by-laws now means that cyclists are able to cycle along Lowestoft's seafront promenade, an action which had previously been forbidden.

At last, cyclists can enjoy a leisurely ride whilst taking the scenic route, and parents teaching youngsters how to ride their new Christmas presents can now do so in safety away from any traffic. The promenade is wide enough to accommodate both cyclists and pedestrians, so it is about time those using the greenest of transportations were allowed to enjoy the seafront.

But as always, with smooth must come a bit of rough, and it's been confirmed that refurbishment of the town centre's Bascule Bridge will create road works and disruption which will not be finished until mid-March.

The bridge will be closed from 8pm to 6am on a number of dates in the run up to mid-March, causing businesses such as pubs and restaurants concern, as they all benefit from evening trade. On a slightly more positive note, the temporary footbridge will remain next to the bridge to allow pedestrians to cross Lake Lothing.

Those behind the work on the bridge have said that the work obviously needs to be done, and with a blanket closure, things will be clear before Easter when there will be “a big celebration”. I'm not entirely sure what kind of celebration would be entirely suited to the completion of refurbishment of a bridge, but we shall see.

With the hugely significant facelift which the town received last year, 2008 should surely be a fantastic year for Lowestoft.

There may continue to be complaints with regards to the temporary closure of the Bascule Bridge and the road works which may ensue, but those living with them over the past year or so should be experts at dealing with them now!

Fingers crossed we all stick to our New Years resolutions and good intentions, and that we all enjoy safe and joyful festive celebrations.

Happy New Year Lowestoft!

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