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Optimism over crossing funding

PUBLISHED: 16:49 10 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:15 03 July 2010

CONSTRUCTION work on a third river crossing for Great Yarmouth could start in four years time.

As a study into the proposed crossing continues, supporters of the scheme are optimistic a bid for government funding could be submitted by 2012.

CONSTRUCTION work on a third river crossing for Great Yarmouth could start in four years time.

As a study into the proposed crossing continues, supporters of the scheme are optimistic a bid for government funding could be submitted by 2012.

A new crossing over the River Yare - either a bridge or tunnel by the Harfrey's roundabout - would ease congestion at Yarmouth's notorious Gapton Hall roundabout and provide a vital route for thousands of lorries expected to be working from the new £50m outer harbour, which will be fully operational 2009.

Adrian Gunson, cabinet member for planning and transportation at Norfolk County Council, said more money would be invested in the ambitious project this year.

He said: “The council is working on possible options for the scheme. We need to find the most appropriate form to give the best benefit of cost ratio in order to get government funding.”

Mr Gunson added that the environmental impact of either option would also be a factor in the final decision.

He said public consultation will take place later this year and a preferred option would be known by 2009. Work would then start on a design for the crossing and a detailed business plan would be submitted to the government in a bid to get funding by 2012.

The county council would also have to get planning permission and it is expected that compulsory purchase orders would be carried out to secure land needed for the new crossing.

“It will be the missing link between the A12 and expanding port,” added Mr Gunson, who believes the crossing would also aid in the regeneration of the run down South Denes area.

Last year the county council commissioned a £175,000 land study to pinpoint possible locations. Ground investigations were carried out at Harfrey's roundabout, Southtown Road, and South Denes Road.

Yarmouth MP Tony Wright said: “Without question a new crossing will be vital to the town and it is essential that the correct site is found for this work to go ahead.

“In the late 1990s, a road review did clearly state that Yarmouth needed a third river crossing and that need has greatly increased since then.

“Any new bridge or tunnel could have enormous beneficial effects by easing the town's heavily congested roads and providing a route for the many lorries going to the new outer harbour.”

Mr Wright said a bridge similar to the town's Breydon Bridge should be built as any tunnel plans would probably end up being too costly.

A petition has just been launched on the government's website calling for the third crossing to be built in Yarmouth.

To sign the petition visit http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/gy3rdbridge.

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