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Bridge chosen for Yarmouth crossing

PUBLISHED: 12:42 25 September 2009 | UPDATED: 15:08 03 July 2010

THE plans to build a new river bridge in Great Yarmouth crossed political party lines on Wednesday night as councillors pledged support.

Borough council leaders approved the construction of a new bridge spanning from Southtown to South Denes.

THE plans to build a new river bridge in Great Yarmouth crossed political party lines on Wednesday night as councillors pledged support.

Borough council leaders approved the construction of a new bridge spanning from Southtown to South Denes.

As well as the ruling Conservative party choosing the bridge as the preferred third river crossing, Labour members said they would also support the scheme to bolster Yarmouth's economy.

Councillors chose the bridge plans, which would cost between £80m and £112m over a tunnel option costing £375m.

And as councillors debated the proposal from Norfolk County Council they tried to put to bed any fears that motorists will pay tolls to travel over the bridge, which could be built in 2015.

A consultation document discussed by cabinet included plans for a toll for the 23,000 vehicles a day estimated to use the bridge and even a congestion charge to pay for its construction.

But cabinet members were keen to point out that any potential toll operating on the bridge would be a so-called shadow one - just for lorries and commercial vehicles.

The cabinet and attending members of the council Labour group all agreed the bridge was vital to Yarmouth's future economy by handling the increased traffic from the Outer Harbour and the 12,000 people expected to move to the region in the next 20 years.

The approval will be recommended to the full borough council meeting in October and the final decision sent to the county council.

On November 9, the county council cabinet will meet to choose its preferred option for a third Yarmouth river crossing.

As yet no government funding has been allocated to the project.

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