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Third river crossing ‘on track’ for construction in 2020 residents told at drop-in

PUBLISHED: 19:33 09 May 2018 | UPDATED: 19:33 09 May 2018

A drop-in session about the third river crossing in Yarmouth was well attended. Photo: Liz Coates

A drop-in session about the third river crossing in Yarmouth was well attended. Photo: Liz Coates

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Hundreds of people concerned about the impact of Great Yarmouth’s third river crossing on their daily lives turned out to a drop-in event this evening.

One of the options is for a lifting, or bascule bridge. Image of the proposed new third river crossing in Great Yarmouth.Photo: Norfolk County CouncilOne of the options is for a lifting, or bascule bridge. Image of the proposed new third river crossing in Great Yarmouth.Photo: Norfolk County Council

Officials from Norfolk County Council were taken aback by the response with people outside the King’s Centre in Southtown ready to raise their concerns half an hour before it opened at 5pm

Some 3000 people in the area around Southtown Road were written to ahead of the session in a bid to reach everyone along the riverside who could be affected, however indirectly.

Among those seeking reassurance was Jennifer Baker of Cromwell Court.

She said while she was broadly supportive of the bridge, she was worried about how the works would be handled and access to her property maintained.

An artist's impression of Great Yarmouth's third river crossingAn artist's impression of Great Yarmouth's third river crossing

“Everyone was very, very anxious when the letter came out,” she said. “But this has been very reassuring. We have all been living with planning blight for some time.

“I am trying to feel positive about the bridge but I am not convinced of the sense of putting it where it is. I would have preferred a flyover at Gapton Hall.”

Businessman Peter Doidge said he was happy about being able to nip over the river to Yarmouth but was also worried about access while the build was underway.

“Ten years ago it was going to come over the top of my property and I was in the compulsory purchase zone,” he said.

“Now it is going to go across the back of my garage. If anything it might improve things because I can put a big sign up that everyone using the bridge will see.”

David Allfrey, major projects manager at Norfolk County Council, said the £121m project needed a single development consent order from the secretary of state.

Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “Since we got the news in November that the Government are putting £98m towards the project a lot of work has been going on to keep us on track for starting construction in 2020.

“We’re currently in the middle of the process of appointing the best possible contractor to build the bridge and we’re making good progress.”

The session is open until 9pm tonight.

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