New landmark third river crossing will ease congestion and boost economy
- Credit: Norfolk County Council
More than a quarter of a century after people last made the two minute trip across the River Yare by ferry boat a new £121m lifting bridge is setting out a new path to prosperity.
As well as reconnecting Southtown to South Denes the structure is being seen as crucial to a new era of regeneration as the enterprise zone becomes a prosperous employment area once again, providing more than 50 job and training opportunities, and boosting business - particularly the energy sector.
For the public it means no longer having to make the four-mile trip across various pinch points including Gapton Hall, Fullers Hill and South Quay easing existing pressure on roads and diverting at least 15,000 vehicles.
Great Yarmouth's MP Brandon Lewis has hailed the third river crossing as "transformational" for the whole of the borough, creating jobs and helping locals and visitors to move around more easily saving time and money.
And Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said in opening up key land for redevelopment, the crossing would help to "maximise the potential of the harbour and the industries which it supports, particularly our world-leading energy sector.”
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Work started in January and involved the demolition of homes in Southtown Road and Queen Anne's Road as well as some commercial properties, with planting and landscaping in the final stages helping to improve the area and creating attractive walking and cycling routes.
It will take two years to build and is due to open in 2023.
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Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council’s deputy leader and borough councillor for Great Yarmouth said: “It’s a highly significant infrastructure project for the county council which will integrate with several other local development projects set to transform the town of Great Yarmouth in the coming years, creating local jobs both now and in the future.
“It will make it much easier for people living and working in the borough to get around and provide crucial support to the town’s key industries, including those linked to the offshore energy and maritime sectors, tourism and manufacturing.
"This is more important than ever as we seek to help Norfolk’s economy recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.”