WHAT DO YOU THINK: New plan unveiled for third crossing in Lowestoft

AMBITIOUS plans that could see a long-awaited third crossing built in Lowestoft will be showcased at a meeting next week.

Lowestoft businessman Peter Colby has drawn up new proposals for a tidal barrier across Lake Lothing – and he is calling on local people to let him know their views on his plans.

Mr Colby says his project – which is based on the same principle as the North Sea dams in Holland – would help improve Lowestoft's transport system by providing a new road linking the north and south of town.

But in doing so, he says, the barrier would also protect the town from rising sea levels – thereby opening up large swathes of derelict dockside land for redevelopment.

With the support of former MP, Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Waveney, Bob Blizzard, Mr Colby has funded a public meeting at the Hotel Victoria in Lowestoft next Thursday evening to set out the proposals which he believes are 'fundamentally important' to the town's future.

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Mr Colby, who owns Peter Colby Commercials Ltd, a major employer in East Anglia, said: 'I want people to come to the meeting and I will project what can be done for not a lot of money. Nobody I have met so far has said they think this is a bad idea. But I also want people to tell me why it won't work.

'I believe there is no reason why it shouldn't work, but if there is, then tell me at this meeting. This is practical, this will work and I want the councillors, county councillors and the people of Lowestoft to see this will work. This is, I believe, fundamentally important to Lowestoft.'

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Echoing these sentiments, Mr Blizzard told The Journal the isssue went beyond party politics.

He said: 'I'm backing Peter Colby's proposal because it's what people want and Lowestoft needs – a third crossing for vehicles, at lower cost; in the right place; with traffic flows uninterrupted by boats.

'It also solves Lowestoft's other big problem – the hundreds of acres of derelict land in the heart of the town that lie undeveloped because of the cost of flood risk protection measures. A barrage would protect all the shoreline of Lake Lothing to the west of it.'

Five years ago, Peter Colby Commercials Ltd produced a Lake Lothing Regeneration report – which first proposed the building of a tidal barrage. But this was dismissed by the Highways Agency in 2009.

Yesterday, Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for roads, planning and transport, Guy McGregor, said: 'Proposals to build a barrage crossing have been on the table for some time but when initially raised five years ago, the government at the time did not support them.

'Suffolk County Council is interested in any ideas that would help resolve traffic issues and, therefore, improve quality of life in Lowestoft.

'We'd be happy to look at the proposals,' he added.

? Is the barrage what Lowestoft needs? Write to Postbox, The Journal, 147, London Road North, Lowestoft, NR32 1NB or e-mail max.bennett@archant.co.uk including your name and address.

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