MP calls for third bridge

PUBLISHED: 10:56 28 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:26 30 June 2010

An MP has called on Suffolk transport chiefs to do more to push for a third crossing in Lowestoft now that plans for a new bridge in Great Yarmouth are moving forward.

An MP has called on Suffolk transport chiefs to do more to push for a third crossing in Lowestoft now that plans for a new bridge in Great Yarmouth are moving forward.

Waveney MP Bob Blizzard has claimed that Suffolk County Council has got its priorities wrong by aiming to improve transport routes within the town rather than backing the bid for a third crossing over Lake Lothing.

Now his frustration has grown after seeing a letter from Norfolk County Council to Great Yarmouth Port Users Association which said that there is not likely to be competition for funding for the planned new bridge in Yarmouth from any schemes in Lowestoft.

The letter, which was sent last month, said: “From discussions with Suffolk County Council, we do not believe they are strongly campaigning for a third crossing in Lowestoft….In view of this, unless the position changes, there is unlikely to be any competition for funding between the two towns.”

While the funding for a new bridge would not be the responsibility of Suffolk County Council, Mr Blizzard said that the scheme would need the full backing of the council's transport chiefs in order to stand any chance of getting regional funding.

He said: “The third crossing is what Lowestoft needs most and what people want. But while Norfolk County Council is promoting a third crossing for Yarmouth, which is a relatively recent idea, Lowestoft people will be angry that Suffolk County Council is not backing what we've wanted for decades, so we lose out to Yarmouth. We're being sold down the river.”

However Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for roads, transport and planning Guy McGregor said that the council is investing in transport schemes in Lowestoft.

He said: “Our position is very clear. The third crossing scheme has to be promoted by the Highways Agency as they are the highways authority for this matter, not the county council.

“In terms of the crossing in Yarmouth, Norfolk County Council is the relevant highways authority for that scheme so that's why they've been promoting it.

“Of course we all want to do more for transport in Lowestoft but we are doing what we can with the resources we have and in areas where we are the responsible authority.”

Last year, the Highways Agency carried out a feasibility study which found that the best site for a new bridge in Lowestoft would be between the two existing crossings, stretching from Peto Way in the north of the town to Waveney Drive in the south.

The results of an economic impact assessment into a proposed new bridge in Lowestoft, which was commissioned by transport minister Sadiq Khan, are expected to be known in a few weeks' time.

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