Great Yarmouth’s ‘much-needed’ Third River Crossing given green light
PUBLISHED: 17:22 24 September 2020 | UPDATED: 17:22 24 September 2020
Plans to build the long-awaited Third River Crossing spanning the River Yare in Great Yarmouth have finally been approved by the government.
On Thursday, the Planning Inspectorate gave Norfolk County Council the go-ahead to build and operate a new lifting bridge, linking the A47 at Harfrey’s roundabout to the port on the other side of the river.
It is hoped the crossing will ease traffic congestion on the town’s roads, shorten journey times and support investment in the town.
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The Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Schapps, confirmed the decision in a letter - concluding a lengthy application process which began when plans were first submitted in April 2019.
The council will now submit a final business case to the government which, if approved, would unlock £98m of national funding towards the expected £120m cost of the project.
The remainder of the funding is likely to come from local sources, with construction scheduled to begin in early 2021 for use in early 2023.
Contractor BAM Farrans has designed the project, and will be installing a new roundabout on the west side of the river as well as building the bridge itself.
Graham Plant, deputy leader at Norfolk County Council and Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said the news that the “much-needed” bridge would become a reality was “more important than ever”.
He said: “This is fantastic news, We’re now tantalisingly close to making this much-needed bridge a reality.
“Not only will it make getting around so much easier for many people currently living and working in the borough but it will support the town’s key industries, including those linked to the offshore energy and maritime sectors.
“This is more important than ever now as we seek to help Norfolk’s economy recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis echoed Mr Plant’s sentiment.
He said: “The Third River Crossing will be transformational for the borough, and will bring meaningful benefits to local businesses - especially those in the energy sector.”
Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, agreed: “I’m pleased to see this step forward. The crossing will open up key land for redevelopment, helping to maximise the potential of the harbour and our world-leading energy sector.”
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