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1960s plans for third river crossing could be revived

PUBLISHED: 10:38 01 April 2016 | UPDATED: 10:38 01 April 2016

POTENTIAL PROBLEM: a planned flyover as a second river crossing temporarily hindered plans for a shopping precinct at the Wodlands site off Gorleston High Street in 1968.

POTENTIAL PROBLEM: a planned flyover as a second river crossing temporarily hindered plans for a shopping precinct at the Wodlands site off Gorleston High Street in 1968.

Archant

Plans for a third river crossing, drawn up in the 1960s, could be revived and moves made to fund its construction.

The approach to Great Yarmouth on the A47.
March 2016.

Picture: James BassThe approach to Great Yarmouth on the A47. March 2016. Picture: James Bass

And Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader, Cllr Graham Plant, has pledged the cash will not have to be found by residents via an increase in council tax, but instead will come from donations from visitors.

The planned flyover third river crossing was designed in 1968 – then called the second river crossing as Breydon Bridge had not been constructed. And its height would mean tall ships heading up-river can pass underneath safely.

It is expected the scheme would take five years, with each span taking two months to construct, and would cross 100ft high over Gorleston High Street cross the river at Darby’s Hard and touch down on the Yarmouth side before taking in a wide sweeping panoramic view of the sea.

Construction of the huge concrete blocks required will be on the Harfreys Industrial Estate and keeping budgets tight would mean the cost could be restricted to £10m with local people being encouraged to volunteer and pitch in on the work.

Money would be raised by creating a pinch-point on the Acle Straight for traffic travelling from Acle into Yarmouth. A field at the end of the Straight, on the left hand side - the same side as the Vauxhall Holiday resort – would be converted into a “holding area” where traffic would wait as vehicles are filtered through the “pinch-point”.

Large concrete “buckets” will be erected on either side of the pinch-point single carriageway to allow visitors to throw in spare cash and notes to help the fund. Foreign currency would also be welcomed as would money-off vouchers cut out of various publications ie newspapers and magazines and stores’ own dedicated leaflets.

Cllr Plant added buses/coaches would not be exempt from the pinch-point spare change scheme, and collectors would board the buses at Acle and shake a bucket on the way into Yarmouth. Each passenger would be given a ticket as a thank you.

Cllr Plant said: “This is a very exciting time for the borough of Great Yarmouth and one which should see the economy of the area boom with the building of the third river crossing.

“We had thought of charging a toll to come into Great Yarmouth but we are a holiday destination and would not want to charge people to come and see our beautiful beaches and enjoy our seafront and heritage. Instead, we are hoping they will donate generously.

“And we have a Dutch leader in building bridges across flood prone areas and waterways who will be the main consultant.”

Lead consultant is Dutch engineer Lars Piody FOLA, Fellow of the Order of Licensed Architects.

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